My son is down that way today, I am darned worried just today in the New Zealand Herald I read
Reported incidents since November include two mob street bashings of visitors, a New Year's Day rape, an attempted abduction of a child and the killing of 23 protected fur seals which are a popular tourist drawcard. On Thursday there was a clash over drugs involving knives and baseball bats.
NZ as many NZers know , is one violent country
The Dutch have a travle warning and other Governments may follow
Every time I see a backpacker or cyclist alone, I stop and talk to them, BE CAREFUL young uns
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Never Get between Seals and the Sea
Getting between seals and the sea can become a special danger in the Kaikoura region where you have so many seals that you might not see them all. If you walk on the rocks beside SH1 you might happen not to see some seals as their furs are of a brownish colour very similar to the rocks they are lounging on. Sometimes you just walk around and suddenly stand in front of a seal which then feels threatened and starts to yell, and could even move towards you quickly.
Although they do not look like animal athletes they can move surprisingly fast on land and difficult terrain. Their first reaction would be to yell, and then rush to the water. If you stand between the seals and the water you block their path and put yourself at risk.
So always watch before you walk, and do not walk while photographing. The objects could be much closer than the camera eye might make you think.
Also drive cautiously on the highway around Kaikoura, especially south of the town. Every now and then it happens that a seal makes its way to the road. To lower this risk mesh fence has been installed under some stretches of the guide barriers. But you never know...
Last advice: Do not stop for seal watching in the middle of the road and do not break abruptly when you spot seals, the following traffic might crash into you. There are many lay-byes where you can stop and park. The seals will still be there when you come back walking.
Be careful on the Roads
The road leading into Kaikoura from Christchurch is very windy and you can get stuck behind campervans and trucks. There are few spots to pass on so some motorists can get rather frustrated and take risks that they wouldn't normally to get past slow vehicles. Passing lanes are being built north (near Clarence) of Kaikoura and a couple of long stretches south help to get past so long as something is not coming toward you in the other direction.
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Hanmer Springs Connection
The Hanmer Springs Connection only comes to Kaikoura certain days of the week. I had booked the bus through Intercity a few days prior and the woman on the phone told me to wait across the street from the Cray Pot to catch the shuttle. I waited where I was told and didn't see the van. I was getting concerned and almost called the bus company when the shuttle drove up in the turn about and the driver got out. To my surprise he was angry with me and told me I was supposed to wait at some other location. I was only waiting where Intercity told me to and I was lucky that he had gone to the turn about to turn around. Be careful if you're going to Hanmer Springs from Kaikoura via the shuttle that you wait for it at the correct location. Otherwise, you may be stuck in Kaikoura for 2-3 more days!
Don't get too close to them. They chase after you and try and attack you. Always be ready to run when you are near sea lions. One went after me and my boyfriend and we wasn't close to him.
Other travellers told us that they had problems with Sea Lions when they went on a 2 hour walk. They where nearlly at the end but 2 Sea lions where in the way and they wasn't letting these two people tpass. They had to walk all the way back - 1 hour and 30 mins!!!
When whale watching
Life jackets are to be worn on the boats.
No leaning over the boat for pics,, sudden winds can tip you over board, beware!!
do not underestimate the Danger of driving on Gravelroads. there is no grip for the tyres..be carefull when not driving a 4X4 off roader*
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