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Trip Report Day trip to see baby seals!!!

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I have lived in NZ all my life, some 60 years or so, and have never been to see the baby seals playing at Oahu point north of Kaikoura. I decided today was the day to remedy this. I have Melnq to thank for this as she has seen so much more of the South Island than I ever have. We actually went to Abel Tasman last year, just because Mel had said how wonderful it was!

DH and I left Nelson at 8.45 am and went via Blenheim to see the seals. We spent a lot of time reminiscing as DH was in the Air Force at Woodbourne just past Renwick. He was telling me what barracks he was in before he got married and then we were in Air Force houses.

I also lived in Seddon and went to high school every day on the school bus from Seddon to Blenheim, over the Dashwood Pass. We were both amazed how much land is now being used for grapes, even beyond Seddon. There was quite a bit of salt at the salt works, but not the right time of year to see the pink ponds where the sea is evaporating and leaving the salt on the top.

We were about 10 minutes from Oahu waterfall track, when we noticed lots of seals just sunning themselves in the grass and on the rocks right beside State Highway 6. We have driven from Blenheim to Christchurch many many times and occasionally seen a seal or two on the rocks but nothing like this. We stopped and took lots of photos. It was great being so close, and there was only one other person there also taking photos.

We carried on and about 10 minutes later we came to Oahu point, and there were lots of cars parked on either side of the road. There was a sign saying Oahu waterfall track, and we knew this is where the baby seals wait and play in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall waiting for their Mother's to come back from sea and nurse them. There were two seals right at the start of the track playing around in the water not far from the sea. After a short walk, maybe 10 minutes at the most we were at the pool below the waterfall.

There were about 12 or so babies playing in the water. Someone had thrown in a tennis ball so they were having fun playing with this, but unfortunately one seal lost control of it and it went floating out of the pool down the stream. It is such a beautiful spot, and would recommend anyone driving the Kaikoura Coast make a stop here. It will make you very happy!!. The babies are only there between April and September though, as they are weaned around October.

On the way home we stopped in at the Kekerengu cafe/store for lunch and had a steak pie. There was a roaring fire inside, which helped thaw our very cold hands.

We also decided to go back to Nelson via Wairau Valley. It is 40 years or so since we had done that. ai loved the straight road, so different to the hills we had driven over, on the way to Oahu Point. As my DH said we are climbing the whole time, but it was straight until you got to the Tophouse turn-off. I loved how nice and peaceful Wairau valley looked, still more grapes, just acres, and acres, of them. But further up there was some farm land. It took about 25 minutes longer to come back this way, then through Rai Valley.

It was a great day.

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