Having recuperated from the wine tasting the night before, we got a mid-morning start and drove out of Blenheim towards Kaikoura.
Still in the Marlborough district, we saw lots of vineyards, some of them just "sprouting".
The landscape was magnificent with big, rolling hills and SH-1 ran along the Picton-Christchurch railway for long stretches.
The highway had lots of traffic and only a few, but brave, bicyclists who dared the very narrow lane.
We reached the Pacific Ocean coast and stopped at a colony of New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) with lots of young ones.
The month-old fur seal pups were sucklings and had already grown much thanks to the very fat milk provided by the mother (c. 40% fat contents !!).
We also spotted a specimen of the extremely rare Double-bodied Black-backed Gull
(Larus dominicanus thingii).
We drove into the coastal town of Kaikoura (which is Maori for "crayfish food" or "crayfish town").
The town also has a lot of whale watching activities.
This would be the obvious place to get some nourishing sea food. Hence, we satisfied our hunger with some excellent sea food chowder.
After lunch, we browsed and shopped in a well-stocked paua business.
The paua is a large edible sea snail with a very colourful shell, that is also a valued natural resource for all kinds of beautiful ornamental handicraft by the locals. We became the happy owners of some shells.
Kaikoura is situated along two wide bays and was badly hit by a big earthquake in 2016.
The quake also raised the land and the seabed c. 2 meters, so large areas along the former coastline have become a new foreland above the new high tide line.
The presently hard and dry beach shows the former soft and muddy seabed with numerous holes once inhabited by happy (but now very dead) clams.
Do not plan to carry or consume alcohol in this part of "Crayfish Town". The local police will confiscate your booze and violators may be fined up to 20,000 NZ$ .!!
This charming kiwi with maori-wannabe tattoos was part of the late afternoon traffic rush.
At Kaikoura's South Bay we saw the real Maori woodcraft ...
... as well as some Pied Shags (Phalacrocorax varius) that are distant cousins to the pelicans.
South Bay was also significantly changed by the 2016 earthquake.
Heading home to Hanmer Springs in the still very hot evening, we came upon a Red Deer farm. Here are some on a steep slope. Red Deer were originally imported to New Zealand in 1861 from Essex, England. Presently, they live as farmed deer behind fences or as wild deer roaming freely. The farmed deer are mainly providing venison for meat-eating folks around the world.