A quick stop at the Jubilee Clock Tower on the way out of Christchurch, then we headed north. This morning it was overcast and by the time we reached our first destination of Ashley Estuary it was raining. We braved it and managed to spot a couple of lifers, and endemics to boot; South Island Pied Oystercatcher and Black-fronted Tern.
It continued to rain pretty much all the way up to Kaikoura. We did do one little tourist drive up through the hills to see the Cathedral Cliffs near Gore Bay. Whilst blue skies would be nice, it seems more fitting for the weather to be wild in such an untamed place.
Down on the coast we could see the ocean, but not the mountains because the mist had rolled in.
We grabbed lunch in Kaikoura before checking into our accommodation at the Lobster Inn, home to The Big Lobster.
Next we headed out towards the seal colony at the end of the peninsula. On the way we spotted a seal on the side of the road so we pulled up and snapped a few pics. It was pretty awesome to be able to get so close to wild animals. (Though one lady did take it too far and get snapped at in return.) We continued on until the road ran out where we found more New Zealand Fur Seals on the beach and lots of them out on the rocks. We were even lucky enough to spot a few baby ones too.
We also checked out the birdlife, adding White-fronted Tern, Double-banded Plover and Salvin's Albatross to the life list.
It's a bit of a shame about the weather but we were lucky the rain held off this afternoon and the water is still a beautiful milky aquamarine despite the cloud cover.
Tomorrow is looking touch and go for the whale watch so hopefully that will still go ahead. We are both pretty keen to get out there after watching In The Heart of the Sea recently. Fingers crossed.