Our first stop after picking up the camper was a town on the coast halfway to Marlborough called Kaikoura. It had been recommended to me for it's abundantly fresh seafood sold from carts along side the road, scenic hike around the peninsula, and seal colony. It was cloudy and overcast when we were there, but the backdrop of snow capped mountains against the water was still absolutely stunning.
We attempted to walk from the town to the seal colony in the late afternoon, but a kilometer in when we realized it was at least another six we elected to go back to the town and enjoy some wine and mussels and save the seals for the next day. In the morning we drove to the parking lot by the seal colony where we found a couple of these guys lounging along the rocks:
It's a good thing we didn't walk from the town. It's a lot farther than it looks and we wouldn't have felt like hiking around the peninsula had we walked all that way. Since we'd driven we left the few seals hanging out by the parking lot and began climbing the hill behind us. Upon reaching the top I couldn't help but feel that I was back in Switzerland.
The views were amazing, but when we reached the point where the path begins to turn back along the other side of the peninsula we realized we should have walked along the coastline if we wanted to see the seal colony since we were far to high to have seen them from above. Instead of finishing the walk we decided to climb back down and walk back to the car along the coastline in hopes of finding the seal colony.
We found them half way back to the car, sleeping along the rocks. They were neat to see, but were both less interesting and more foul smelling than I had imagined.