Gem on the eastern tip of New Zealand – Akaroa
Yes, yes, the Chinese. What did we scold about them? Everywhere they spread, beleaguer the campgrounds with their huge camper vans, drive basically on the wrong side of the road and keep wherever it is possible, their tablets in the air. And then that. We were taught a better one of our karma again. Why? Because karma can do it. And with what? Right! Our Karma drawer memo came in the form of Hong, a friendly Chinese who did not only head in the same direction but brought us to our remote hostel directly. Although Hong did not speak English, that did not stop him from communicating with us with hands and feet. Even though we did not understand each others’language, we had a fun conversation, so time flew by and we reached our destination.
„I would rather share one lifetime
with you than face all the ages of this world alone,
and so I choose a mortal life.“
– Arwen –
There are not many sleeping options that have impressed us as sustainably as the Stargazer huts of the Onuku Farm Hostel. With the space of a double bed they are built into the hillside and offer a stunning view in two ways. During the day you sit on the small „terrace“with dangling legs,look in the nearby bay and the surrounding country. At night you warp into the hut, lie on your back and admire the perfect starry sky through the glass roof. We could not imagine more luxury and so we did not think it was possible that anything could top this first dream night. Luckily we were surprised again the next morning. After a detailed briefing we slipped in our neos and then went directly with the pickup down in the bay. In joyful anticipation we placed ourselves with the other tour members on the dinghy and could not wait. Then it finally went off. We whipped through the waves watching and wondering if we would ever see them. After a felt eternity suddenly the first Hector dolphin appeared in front of our boat. Euphorically we watched the ever-growing group and were looking forward to the moment when Jeff let us jump into the water. After feeling that the dolphins had taken a liking to us, he stopped and released us into the cold wet. It was not long before the dolphins started swimming around us. It is a very touching feeling when you are surrounded by such rare and beautiful creatures.
After this first encounter we drove on through the bay. Just before we reached the open sea, we stopped to watch a small penguin fight its way through the waves looking for food. It was our first penguin because we had seen in the wild and we could barely get enough of the little guy. On the way back to the bay, we caught the attention of a group of dolphins again. They had so much fun with our boat that they started offering us their acrobatic art pieces. Breathtaking! Jeff stopped the boat again and as soon as we were in the water, we were surrounded by the fast and playful marine mammals. We were so happy that we would rather have grown old and shriveled in the water than to have to climb back into the boat. Unfortunately, they eventually lost the desire for us snorkeling and swam their way. With a big smile we made the boat ashore and made our way back to the hostel.
Itchy Feet Insider: If you want to swim with Hector Dolphins, just do it with Jeff and Mafi from Onuku Farm Hostel. Here great care is taken to ensure that the small groups meet the animals in an appropriate manner and only invade their natural environment if they allow it. Never touch the dolphins!!!
The land around the bay is hard to compare with other parts of New Zealand in its beauty and seclusion. The gentle ups and downs over the luscious green pastures give you always a nice insight into the breathtaking nature of this country. We passed sheep and goats on our little hike in the afternoon, climbed over fences and caught a great view of the bay again and again. A successful conclusion to such an eventful day. After another fantastic night under the stars, the next morning we continued in the direction of Wannaka.
Salute from here and now,
Tina and Andi from Itchy Feet