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Dusky Dolphins in Kaikoura

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura lies on a peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. It's waters and geological nature have a few characteristics that make it New Zealand's Premier marine wildlife destination. Its Shoreline runs very close to a vast and extremely deep underwater canyon. It is also the hub of intersecting Ocean currents. Cold, nutrient-rich water from the deep levels of the canyon encounter warm currents from the North and are propelled toward the surface quite close to land. These unique nutrient-laden shallow waters initiate the marine food-chain in a place where it usually does not exist. This means there is a surplus of large marine sea creatures - seals, whales, and dolphins - just off the shore. It also means that we get to swim with them.

We signed up for a swim with the wild dusky dolphins, of which there are around 2,000 in local waters. A short boat ride took us out around the or peninsula until a pod of dolphins was spotted. At this point we got on our snorkel gear and jumped in. Within minutes there were dozens of curious dolphins swimming around us, checking us out, and following our movements. It was incredible - amazing how, without any enticing, training, or persuasion (expect for us making lots of noise and movement to pique their interest), the dolphins would approach us. Using Vivi's parents spiffy waterproof GoPro video camera (thanks guys!), we were able to get some great HD footage of all this happening. After the swim, up on the boat, we followed around a pod of what appeared to be hundreds of dolphins who would race around the boat, sometimes performing impromptu jumps and tricks. Very cool.

We returned to town and grabbed lunch before heading further south and west, leaving the coast and heading inland to the South alpine Mountain region.

permalink written by  bhkann on December 8, 2012 from Kaikoura, New Zealand
from the travel blog: New Zealand, 2012
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Nice blog Bhkann.Kaikoura is really a beautiful place to travel around though i had not visited there but heard a lot about that place.

permalink written by  brisbane on December 9, 2012

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