After getting the van serviced and rewarranted we took a last look at the North Island at Tongaparutu River, a coastline studded with arches and formations. Unfortunately the weather and tide was against and we couldn’t do justice to this stunning location.
We revisited Waitanguru Falls that we had previously seen in flood and were now flowing more sedately.
Some typical New Zealand countryside and more coastal scenery had us down to Wellington and ready to embark across the calm Cook Strait for the next part of our trip. We had picture postcard weather for the impressive sail through the Marlborough Sounds.
We took a winding, little travelled, scenic route around the coast to find our own little gems before heading inland next to and then high above one of the famed New Zealand rivers with their wide gravelled beds. I was glad Ray was driving for the hair raising drive into the back country to visit New Zealand’s only slot canyon. It was a three kilometre walk in which I thought wouldn’t take long except it was all along the river bed with numerous crossings of the icy cold and often fast flowing stream. We finally arrived at the impressive slot that is taller than it is long and waded through to view it from all angles.
We carried on down the Kaikoura coastline for yet more encounters with seals, some close up and unconcerned by the close proximity of humans and others having a lovely time in the rock pools well out reach. We were stunned by the dramatic beauty of the snow capped Kaikoura mountains towering just above the sea.