New Zealand- Kaikoura

Because of Christchurch's earthquake we were rerouted to Kaikoura.  I can't imagine a better tradeoff!  It was wild and beautiful.  We stayed at The Waves apartments and the manager was very friendly and accomodating.  We had a third floor room overlooking the bay and the mountains....oh my goodness.  There was a small elementary school next door and the children were cute in their uniforms playing in the field behind the school.

It's a small town with the most wonderful view.  There were snow-capped mountains to our left and ocean in front with seals and whales (we didn't get any good pictures) and dolphins.  At the end of the road there was a 'beach' with lots of rock, kelp, starfish, seals by the dozens, birds, crashing waves, wildflowers and one lonely penquin. 

We ate at a roadside stand and has the seafood sampler.  It was good but not the best we had, they made fried fritters from their native paua bivalve but the meat is blue and green, I had a hard time getting it down BUT I did try it.  The scallops had roe on them, I'd never seen that.  It tasted pretty good just a little 'fishier' than normal. 

They had a tree the manager said was a Norfolk pine, it didn't look like the one we call a Norfolk Island pine.  The tree limbs were very upright with little tufts of needles on the end of the branches.  The cones were very long, 6-12" or so with tight scales.

Brett on the 'shore', most of it was
a large area of rock.

Kelp-rubbery with air pockets to keep it afloat

The coastline was beautiful and wild looking.

Great waves!

The poor lonely penquin.  We also found a dead one-its mate??

Dozens of these guys.  It was apparently nap time as none of them
were moving anywhere.

Not a great picture but this blue starfish was about 2-3" long.

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