Kaikoura is known for its bustling seal colony along the beautiful shores of the peninsula walkway just outside town. On our way to the peninsula, we rounded a corner and there was a seal lying on the road. At first I thought it was dead, but then he lifted his head, staring at us just a few meters away in the car. Jordan immediately grabbed the camera and started to approach the big guy. He must have gotten a bit too close as the seal let out a loud BARK which gave Jordan quite the jolt!
|Seal lying along the road (he is alive don’t worry)
Down by the carpark, a number of seals were laying out on the rocks, some even just under the boardwalk. One male seal in particular seemed to be putting on a show for everyone as he gladly had his photo taken and was even posing with his nose in the air.
Down the boardwalk was a small pond with about half a dozen baby seals frolicking in the water. They splashed around playing with each other, a few even leaped out of the water like a dolphin! So cute!
|Baby seals splashing around (I know it’s tough to see)
Off to hike the Kaikoura Pennisula Walkway, we climbed the embankment to find a beautiful view of the rocky ocean coast. Seals and seagulls peppered the rocks below, making the small colony in the carpark look tiny compared to the swarms of seals dawning the beach.
|Beautiful bay of seals (all the black spots are seals along the beach)
Desperate to get closer to the larger colony, we hiked around a few more points before we found a staircase leading to the beach below. Jordan ran down to the large, out of place rock along the beach, being dwarfed by its size in the distance
|Jordan a top the beach mound
As we walked the beach, we closed in on one of the batches of seals lying along the beach. As soon as we came near, several gave out a loud cry, trying to intimate us. When we held our ground, they quickly turned to the sea and fumbled their way back to the water.
Rounding another corner we found ourselves blocked by a few sunbathing seals. Making some noise we tried to wake them up so they could let us pass. A few large stubborn males took their time getting up, and one smaller female decided she just wasn’t going to leave. Leaving us no choice by to climb some rocks up the bank behind her, we came within a few feet of her resting place which she did not like very much. A few loud barks and a small chase we were on our way back to the safety of our car.
|“Get out of here!!”
Despite our attempts to finish the beach walk, we found ourselves in a tough situation as Jordan juggled the camera and his balance along the rocks. With the crashing waves below, a splash on the camera made us do a quick 180 and climb our way up the very large, steep bank to safety.