Kaikoura New Zealand

Today our New Zealand Adventure is coming to a close with a bang…or a flip as the case may be! We spent our last day driving from Blenheim to Kaikoura so we could see the famous dusky dolphins which are prevalent in that area.

One last vista on our way south

The beach at Kaikoura was beautiful but we headed over to Dolphin Encounters for our trip out to sea!

Kaikoura beach

Jeff decided to swim with them but I was feeling a bit nervous so stayed on board and photographed from above. The way it works is they drive you out to sea towards the spot where the dolphins were last spotted earlier that day. From there we just troll around with everyone keeping their eyes peeled until suddenly the pod comes into view. These dolphins are completely wild and the swimmers were warned to not try and touch them…..they would have to creatively get their attention by blowing bubbles and making noise through their snorkle.

Since the pod is constantly moving the swimmers came in and out of the water five times as we motored ahead of the pod

It really was one of the most magical experiences of my life…..sounds cheesy but it’s true. First of all there are SO many dolphins you don’t know where to look – I’d estimate there were about 200 in the pod we followed. They are flipping in and out of the water and swimming alongside the boat and you just feel their energy.

dolphin encounters kaikoura

Jeff said swimming with them was incredible – they move so quickly that you can’t really focus on one – you just try and look at the forest through the trees and keep their attention so they’ll swim in circles around you

Many of the dolphins gleefully swam just in front of the boat – they are FAST

dusky dolphins swim below boat

More flips – a tip is to keep your camera trained on one because often they will do 3-4 flips in a row. I was so overstimulated as I tried to decide which direction to photograph towards – they are everywhere and as soon as you turn your head you can see one flipping in your peripheral vision

Kaikoura dolphin encounters

This gives you a small sense of how many there are but this is just one side of the boat – they were surrounding us and a few stragglers get quite far behind and then catch up

pod of dusky dolphins kaikoura

We got a bonus on the way back and saw a sperm whale right as he was going under. I had originally thought that a whale watch would be my preference but I’m SO glad we saw dolphins instead…..much more interactive and exciting!

sperm whale kaikoura

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts there are A LOT of sheep in New Zealand. Unfortunately those sheep all tend to be very skittish so I hadn’t gotten a good sheep picture until the final day….thank goodness! I told Jeff we couldn’t leave until I got my sheep photo 🙂

After leaving Kaikoura we drove south towards Christ Church. We stopped for dinner at the Brew Moon Garden Cafe and Brewery which is about 30 minutes north of Christ Church in Amberley. The food was pretty good and it was a nice end to our trip!

New Zealand sheep

Thanks so much for following along on our adventures!