Seal with a Kiss – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #5

March 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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The next morning Itchyfingers decided to catch the seals before leaving Kaikoura. Unfortunately we were too tired to wake up earlier…

Since we saw the seals far away from the sea the previous evening, and also saw people walking up and down the hil, we thought there must be some way to get closer to the seals from there. So we followed the path from the carpark up the hill…


It seemed like a short climb and we thought by passing the hill, we might
be able to get a better spot to get closer views of the seals…We only gave
this signage a passing glance, though I took a photo of it as usual for my
own future reference…It did point to a Point Kean Viewpoint though…


The carpark (right) where we took photos of the sea birds and seals the
previous night…This view was halfway up the hill showing the Kaikoura
Range as the backdrop


It was mostly flat ground…


Close up


There were a lot of these among the grasses…looks like wheat…


The path opened up by earlier trekkers…


The landscape up the hill was almost flat, except this lone tree..


Saw a flock of cute
Silvereyes here…


These reminded us of the ‘beancurd rock’ in Taiwan’s Yeliu Geological Park..
haha

We realised that we had walked for more than 20 minutes and still no sight of any path or viewing point for seals, though there were a few explanatory signs along the way on the mountain range. I reviewed my photo of the sign at the beginning of the walk and it was then we realised that to walk the full distance of this Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and back would take us at least two hours!


On zooming into the map photo, we realised that only one point had the ‘seal’

symbol…which was where we came from at the bottom of the hill!

Alamak! Itchyfingers had overlooked the details! Although the Walkway was a nice and easy walk, we didn’t have so much time left at Kaikoura as we had planned to reach our next destination by mid-afternoon to check into the next motel…Also the main aim was to look out for seals…Itchyfingers decided to head back…


Turning back…

Back at the bottom of the hill, at the carpark again, we walked towards the right down a few steps to find this sign…


The seal colony sign sat at the corner…so does it mean we would be able to
see them here?


Found more kelps on the beach. The oval-shaped stuffs are gas bladders.
These keep the kelp blades close to the surface, holding up the blades by
the gas they contain


Some dried up kelps…looked like tyres…hahah…

It didn’t take long for Itchyfingers to spot the seals… :D!!! This time they were much closer!


There! Two lazy fat Fur Seals (Arctocephalus forsteri), or kekeno in Maori,
sleeping under the sun!!!! Itchyfingers had walked one round to find them
so easily spotted just here… :p


Opening a slit to check us out…


They flapped their flippers for a few seconds before returning to their
slumberland…

Though it was only two Fur Seals that we managed to see, and that both were just sleeping without much activity, Itchyfingers still felt quite happy to see them. If we were to continue walking on the hill, we might not be able to see any of them. With the spotting of these sleepy heads, Itchyfingers had to seal it with a kiss and say goodbye to Kaikoura!

Also see related posts:
> Freezing Sunset – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #4
Alfresco Dining – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #3
A Roller Coaster Ride – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #2
Mass Exodus – Christchurch, New Zealand Trip #1

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