So I decided to start with the last place we visited in New Zealand, which was actually our favorite. I took the most photos there because I wanted to record every moment and inch of space I could. The landscape alone was so awe inspiring and beautiful. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and standing looking out at certain points you feel like you are at the end of the earth.
The way the sunlight fell was poetry alone. I felt like that seen in Bedazzled where Brendan Fraser is just too sensitive and wants to cry every time he looks at the sunset and then says "Why won't the darn thing set already?!"
Another reason I loved Kaikoura so much was all the wildlife we encountered. We kayaked with seals, went on a whale watch tour, and even had sheep right across from our bed & breakfast.
These are from the seal colony, which as you can see, we are literally feet away from them as they slumber in their natural habitat. I feel like there are very few places these days where you can be this close to wildlife without someone or something "protecting you" or rather protecting them from us. There were signs asking not to come to close because they do get ornery like any other animal when disturbed, but otherwise it seems people and wildlife can actually coexist peacefully here.
On our whale watching tour we saw a sperm whale, which I'm sad to say wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped. I've seen humpback whales in Hawaii, and they were much more lively. The sperm whale was only up for about 5 minutes and all you saw was 10% of his head, and then his tale as he dived down. The shot I took wasn't that interesting so I won't post it.
However, as the tour obviously knows how exciting seeing next to nothing of a whale for 5 minutes can be, they made up for it by taking us around to see other marine life. At the very least you get up close to other seal colonies and see large albatross, but we were lucky enough to see dolphins! I ♥ dolphins These are just a few shots from the hundreds I took.
It is very hard to photograph those dusky dolphins. They are incredibly fast and move in odd patterns. They do like to perform though. So I was able to get a couple nice shots of some of their flips.
It is true what they say about sheep in New Zealand. They are everywhere. We actually saw a sheep shearing show which I might post photos of. I do have mixed feelings about it though. I was assured by many Kiwis that sheep are not harmed in any way, but we did see them get nicked and cut. One of the lambs looked terrified half the time and was shaking. The show we saw was done by a seasoned sheep farmer, but seeing the look on the sheeps' faces was a bit hard for a vegetarian animal lover like myself. So here are some happier sheep photos.
And of course there is a tractor driver and his dog!
More photos tomorrow!