Posts Tagged ‘seals’

Neither of us realized that it had been so long since our last post.  That’s kind of what happens here in New Zealand.  There’s just so much to do, and we’ve been so busy the last few weeks, that we didn’t even notice how long it had been.

Before I get to the topic for this post, here’s a really quick rundown of what we’ve done in the last week:

Crossed from the south to the north island on a ferry; Spent a few rainy days in Wellington, going to one of the coolest museums I’ve ever been to, seeing a really good play with only 4 characters and one scene/set, and eating a lot of good food; Went down a 40 meter abseil (about 12o feet) into a cave, where we proceeded to go on a zipline through the pitch black, go black water rafting, see thousands of glowworms, and rock climb back out again; Went to Taupo and Rotorua and saw countless geothermal sites; Did the Zorb in Rotorua (google it or wait for the upcoming post–with video); Went whitewater rafting, including plumetting over a 7 meter (21 foot) waterfall, the largest commercially rafted waterfall in the world; and Went to a Maori ceremony and feast.

Now we are in Paihia, in the northern most part of the north island, where we hope to do plenty of kayaking and snorkeling, provided the weather cooperates with us.

But now to the topic of this post.   About a week and a half ago, we took a two day trip in Abel Tasman National Park, which is a beautiful area on the coast in the north of the south island.  We decided to try our hands at sea kayaking, which it turns out we were pretty good at and enjoyed a whole, whole lot.  Unfortunately the weather has canceled a few planned trips since, but we hope to do it at least once or twice more in our final week here in New Zealand.

After catching a water taxi  up the coast to a beach and our starting point, we got all geared up in our neoprene, and after a quick lesson we were off.  There was an island off the coast of the beach we were on, which became our first destination, and also became one of the highlights of our time here in New Zealand, and quite possibly of the trip.  The island was called Tonga Island and was home to a seal colony.

We were able to paddle inside a cove of the small little island, which was filled with seals, including bunches of little pups.  Megan was quite excited about seeing seals, and I quickly found out what the hubub was about.  It turns out that seals are quite playful, and our presence in their home didn’t intimidate them in the least.  Being so close to the water in our kayaks, we were lucky enough to have them swimming all around us, under our kayaks, “waving” at us, and just generally playing, which you will see in the video below.  The rest of them just lazed around on the rocks looking cute.

The trip we took was a two day trip which involved all day kayaking the first day, an overnight stay on a houseboat, and a hike out of the park the second day.  Because we had so much time, we stayed around the island checking out the seals and having a relaxing paddle around.

The park is dotted with white and yellow sand beaches that are secluded and mostly empty, and after having our fun with the seals, we paddled down the coast taking in the views, eventually stopping at one of these beaches for lunch.  After being fed and resting a bit, we were able to hike to one of the nearby beaches for some more beautiful views.

After lunch it was time to get back in the kayaks, and we were off again down the coast.  The waters were nice and calm and the weather was beautiful (which has not been the norm here in New Zealand).  It turned out to be a great day on the sea, and we seemed to have found yet another new hobby to add, along with ice climbing (and you’ll soon find out, white water rafting).

After another few hours, we made it to our destination, a small little houseboat near a small beach inside a lovely little cove.  We had a great group of people staying with us on the boat, including five people from Ireland, a woman from Portugal, and her German husband.  Again, it was awesome to be around so may different cultures, just talking and eating and drinking and hanging out and learning more and more about each other and our respected countries.  Nights like these continue to be highlights, and they just never get old.

We were all exhausted, and after spending some time on the outside deck of the boat checking out the bounty of stars illuminating the sky, we were all off to bed for a good night’s sleep before heading out the next morning for a nice, leisurely four hour hike out of the park.

We will have more posts expanding on the list from the beginning of this post as our time in New Zealand is coming to a close believe it or not.  We have less than a week here before heading off to Thailand where we will meet up with my mom and sister and begin a leg we are very, very excited about; Southeast Asia.

Here’s a short video of the seals and plenty of pictures, so until next time…

Now to the topic of this post, which goes back nearly two weeks to when we were still in the north island.


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