KIA ORA FROM Kaik­oura

The seabed may have changed dra­mat­i­cally in the past year, but Kaik­oura is as magnificent as ever

Go Travel New Zealand - - Kaikoura -  www.kaik­oura.co.nz  Kaik­ouraNZTourism  Kaik­ouraNZ

T he land­scape and seabed has changed dra­mat­i­cally in Kaik­oura since the 7.8 mag­ni­tude earth­quake on 14 Novem­ber 2016, and it is well worth con­sid­er­ing an overnight visit to view the changes. This is­sue we’re pro­vid­ing up­dates on walk­ing and hik­ing trails around the Kaik­oura District. Thank­fully, most of the reg­u­lar hik­ing trails are open

and the town is ready to wel­come vis­i­tors. Kaik­oura's famed di­verse and pro­lific marine life has not been af­fected at all. On the con­trary, lo­cal tourism op­er­a­tors have said the whale, dol­phin, seal and al­ba­tross view­ings have in fact been the best, if not bet­ter, than be­fore the earth­quake – heart­en­ing news for the lo­cal com­mu­nity and tourists alike.

Kaik­oura Penin­sula Walk

The District’s sig­na­ture walk, the Kaik­oura Penin­sula Walk from the Point Kean seal colony to South Bay is open and pro­vides won­der­ful new vis­tas out along the coast­line with the up­lifted seabed. Pre­vi­ously at high tide all the rocks (seabed) were cov­ered with water but now the new high tide level is shown with the green coloured rocks. At low tide you can now walk out 1km on the seabed and visit the new ‘teenage seal hang­out’ on the right hand side of the Point Kean seabed with the tra­di­tional ‘re­tire­ment vil­lage’ of seals by the left side of the carpark. It’s a two-hour re­turn walk ex­clud­ing time you may like to have walk­ing out on the up­lifted seabed. Def­i­nitely worth adding ex­tra time to walk out on the seabed at Point Kean and South Bay. Or some­thing new, walk around the whole Penin­sula at low tide. This was not pos­si­ble pre-quake.

Mt Fyffe and Seaward Kaik­oura Range

The 8-hour re­turn Mt Fyffe and Seaward Kaik­oura range (1602m) track up to Mt Fyffe Hut and on to the sum­mit of Mt Fyffe, are open. Su­perb views over the Kaik­oura plains and penin­sula re­ward those who climb on Mt Fyffe. On a clear day the view at higher lev­els in­cludes Banks Penin­sula and the North Is­land. From Mt Fyffe carpark fol­low the 4WD road up the moun­tain's long south-west ridge. The road goes right to the sum­mit. Those want­ing a shorter jour­ney could go as far as Mt Fyffe Hut (5 hours re­turn) or the look­out point near a fire-pond, which is just an hour above the carpark. Moun­tain bikes are per­mit­ted on the Mt Fyffe Track. It is very steep; both the as­cent and de­scent will chal­lenge those who try it. Stay in con­trol of your bike and give way to walk­ers. This is a shared-use track. Fol­low the moun­tain bik­ers code: re­spect oth­ers, re­spect the rules, re­spect the track.

The Kaik­oura Coast 2-Day Walk­ing Track

Kaik­oura’s coastal track is a breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful two-day walk. Dis­cover a coast with abun­dant marine life, tus­sock cov­ered tops and farm­land. You’ll re­lax at lunch shel­ters with great views while en­joy­ing a hot drink. You’ll tramp through bush filled gul­lies to views of the Seaward Kaik­oura Moun­tains ris­ing out of the vast Pa­cific Ocean. A rein­vig­o­rat­ing walk for those of rea­son­able fit­ness, 13km per day and only ten walk­ers on the track per day. Open Oc­to­ber-April, book­ings es­sen­tial. http://kaik­oura­track.co.nz/

Other Short Walks

• Ohau Stream and Wa­ter­fall walk (and seals) will re­open when SH1 re­opens in De­cem­ber 2017

• Fyffe-Palmer Track – a 75-minute loop track start­ing at the Mt Fyffe road carpark, a 10 minute drive from the Kaik­oura Town­ship to carpark. Turn down Lud­stone Rd which merges into Red Swamp Rd. Turn left onto Post­mans Rd and fol­low un­til at base of Mt Fyffe carpark.

• Hinau Walk – a short 45-minute loop track high­light­ing dif­fer­ent tree species of Hinau, Ma­hoe, Pu­ta­putaweta, Broadleaf, Tree Fuschia, Pi­geon­wood and a stand of Kanuka. Start of track at Mt Fyffe carpark.

• Hau­muri Bluff – a mod­er­ate to hard walk. Lime­stone bluffs, min­er­als and fos­sils and some­times you can spot marine life. A 15-minute drive south on SH1. Tidal ac­cess re­quired. No en­try through Oaro set­tle­ment.

• Puhi Puhi Re­serve – a flat 30-minute loop track a scenic re­serve and low­land Podocarp for­est. Drive 12kms north of Kaik­oura, turn left up Puhi Puhi val­ley. A windy gravel road so please take care driv­ing.

What’s New?

"Di­nosaur Eggs"

Has the Novem­ber earth­quake un­cov­ered Kaik­oura's own ver­sion of the Mo­er­aki Boul­ders?

Spher­i­cal rocks which re­sem­bled “di­nosaur eggs” are part of the up­lifted seabed at Gooch’s Beach with rocks "as big as beach balls" been found on the east coast shore­line nine months after the 7.8-mag­ni­tude dis­as­ter.

Bare Kiwi owner Kyle Mulin­der said "I was walk­ing around en­joy­ing the sun­set, and saw these per­fectly round rocks," he said. "The lo­cals are say­ing that they didn't know they were there. To find per­fect, per­fect cir­cles like that is very crazy. This place keeps on giv­ing gifts. The rocks vary in size and some of them were sev­ered in half. Some of the rocks have split through the mid­dle. The re­sult did re­mind him of the famed Mo­er­aki Boul­ders on the Otago coast. This is an­other part of the new­est coast­line in

New Zealand show­ing it­self," Mulin­der said. "I feel like in­stead of a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter tak­ing ev­ery­thing away, it keeps on giv­ing lit­tle gifts.” Mulin­der up­loaded a video of the boul­ders to his Face­book page, and he said some com­menters be­lieved the rocks were con­cre­tions. A con­cre­tion was a com­pact mass of min­eral mat­ter that had em­bed­ded in a host rock.”

The Hope Springs

An­other nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non re­vealed by the earth­quake was still present at Whaler's Bay, off the Kaik­oura Penin­sula. A week postquake two Kaik­oura Kayak guides (Matt Foy and Con­ner Sta­p­ley) were out kayak­ing and saw some bub­bling on the water sur­face in Whalers Bay. They pad­dled out and it looked like some­one had turned on a spa pool from un­der­neath with a very strong smell of sul­phur.

Dr Matthew Hughes of Can­ter­bury Univer­sity says the bub­bles are likely dis­solved gases in the sea floor which have be­come ex­posed by new cracks in the rock which has opened up around 50 me­ters from the shore­line and ex­posed car­bon diox­ide which is caus­ing bub­bles to rise to the sur­face. The bub­bles are a com­bi­na­tion of sev­eral dif­fer­ent gases, but the strong smell likely comes from hy­dro­gen sul­fide. Dr Hughes says it is a "mag­i­cal lit­tle sil­ver lin­ing" for the tourist town.

The name 'Hope Springs' was cre­ated by Con­ner for 3 rea­sons, firstly be­ing that his daugh­ter is named Hope, for the Hope Fault that lays un­der­neath which could be con­tribut­ing to the bub­bles and also 'New Hope' for Kaik­oura after the 7.8 earth­quake which rocked the com­mu­nity. "I be­lieve, it's go­ing to be a new at­trac­tion for tourists in Kaik­oura" says Matt Foy, owner of Kaik­oura Kayaks.

New Cy­cle­way & Walk­way along SH1

Min­is­ter of Trans­port Si­mon Bridges an­nounced in Au­gust ex­cit­ing news for the District with a Gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment of $231 mil­lion to cre­ate a new cy­cle­way along State High­way 1 north of Kaik­oura. A 60-kilo­me­tre sec­tion of the quake-hit high­way is set to re­ceive funds for a new sep­a­rated cy­cle­way and walk­way be­tween Okiwi Bay and Manga­maunu which will pro­vide a safer and more en­joy­able way for peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence this sec­tion of the iconic coast­line on foot or by bike. These im­prove­ments will pro­vide for great jour­neys and sup­port eco­nomic growth in the district.

Prior to vis­it­ing Kaik­oura for hik­ing, check sta­tus of tracks on http://www.kaik­oura.co.nz/see-do/kaik­oura-walks/ or visit the Kaik­oura i-SITE on ar­rival in town along West End or phone 03 319 5641 or email info@kaik­oura.co.nz. When the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion has had a chance to re­view tracks that are cur­rently closed, this page will be up­dated.

KAIK­OURA, CAN­TER­BURY

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