We’ve just returned from 2 weeks camper-vanning in the Nelson/Marlborough regions of New Zealand and there were many treats along the way. One was how quiet the roads and campgrounds were even in the first week which coincided with the school holidays. I guess that’s a symptom of closed borders. Almost all of the other travelers we met were also kiwis, mostly like us from the North Island.
In the first weekend of October, we flew to Christchurch where we hired a camper and headed north 181 km to Kaikoura on the east coast. In November 2016, the Kaikoura area was devastated by a 7.8 earthquake lasting 2minutes that raised the coastline between 1.5 and 6.5 meters forming a new rocky shelf that stretches in parts 200 to 300 meters off shore.
The quake generated over 10,000 landslides and work is still being done to repair the roads and railway.
Prior to the earthquake, at Ohau Point 26 km north of Kaikoura, a short easy track ducked under the railway line and led to a waterfall on the Ohau Stream, the main seal breeding site in the area.
You could watch New Zealand fur seal/kekeno pups frolic in the sheltered water below a waterfall but the area was badly damaged and remains closed. As a result of the coastal upthrust, seals now play and rest right next to the road, a big positive to come out the major disaster.
The road rebuild has seen a high wall built to keep the seals away from the road and created a large parking and viewing area, safer for the watchers and the watched. The first day of our holiday was a massive treat. You can’t contain a goofy grin when you’re watching seal pups play.
Every year over 15,000 earthquakes are recorded in New Zealand with 100 to 150 large enough to be felt. On Sunday, 7 earthquakes ranging in size from 2.2 to 4.6 were felt throughout the country, a normal day in the shaky isles. GNS Science says on their website, ‘We’re located on the boundary of 2 of the world’s major tectonic plates, the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate. These plates are colliding with huge force, causing one to slowly grind over, under or alongside the other. As the brittle crust gives way under the pressure, a fault ruptures and an earthquake is unleashed.… As violent and horrific as they can be, earthquakes have helped create New Zealand’s varied landscape through complex processes of mountain building and erosion.’
For the LAPC#120, Tina from Travels and Trifles shared some excellent tips and hints she got from renowned wildlife photographer Kathleen Reeder and challenged us to come up with our own treat for Halloween week. Be sure to visit her post, her images are stunning and the tips are very useful.