Here we are, the final instalment of the New Zealand diaries. Kaikoura.
I wish we had had some more time here because, for me, it was a definite trip highlight. I can’t even begin to express how much I love the ocean. Swimming was always just something I took to naturally and as soon as I discovered scuba diving on my trip around Thailand three years ago I was hooked. I’m pretty confident that I was a mermaid in a past life!
Kaikoura is just teeming with marine wildlife because of a deep trench in the ocean floor that is full of nutrients. I opted to do the wild dolphin encounter, but if I’d had more time in Kaikoura I would have absolutely been doing a seal swim and a whale watching trip.
We set off from our hostel at 5.15am so we could get suited and booted before heading off for a sunset swim with the wild dusky dolphins. Once I’d got over the initial tiredness of the crack of dawn awakening, and onto the water, I was in my element.
It was incredible how quickly we found a pod. The tour operators estimated it to be made up of around 250-300 dolphins and as soon as I hit the water I was overwhelmed with the sheer number of them.
We were instructed how to interact with the Dolphins, using eye contact and noises to get their attention. The Dolphins would circle you if they were interested in you, which happened pretty frequently! I’ve even got some video of it here.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and after three separate swims, I’d managed to get some pretty great GoPro footage. We all left the water feeling high on dolphin goodness and even had some time to take a few more observation shots of the dolphins and sea birds in their natural habitat.
I will most definitely be doing this again if I ever get a chance to.
And that’s it, folks. We ended our tour in Wellington with some incredible memories and 22 brilliant new international friends who I hope to see again at some point. It’s been one hell of a month and I’ve loved every minute of it. Next stop: Sydney!