Over my last couple days off I travelled over to the east coast and visited the Banks Peninsula region and the small fishing town of Akaroa. Banks Peninsula was formed by 2 giant volcanos which erupted over 8 million years ago. My visit to Banks Peninsula consisted of the scenic drive around summit road. The views were spectacular due to the clear skies and the road itself was fun to drive as it was up and down and around the volcanic cores. Akaroa which means Long Harbour was the first French settlement in New Zealand and is the only place that you can see Hector’s Dolphins, which are native to New Zealand and can only be found here. These dolphins are also the worlds smallest and one of the rarest dolphins.
I started my 2 days off with the gorgeous drive around summit road before making my way to Akaroa where I spent time walking around town and checking out the shops that line the water front. That evening I went standup paddle (SUP) boarding with Amy who I met at the hostel I was staying at. We both had a great time and the LED lights on the bottom of the board made the ocean floor near the shore really easy to see. We saw lots of fish and even a stingray. It was also my first time on a SUP and I did stand up but not for the entire time. Jamie the owner and our guide was great he was really patient with us and encouraged us the whole time.
The next morning i started the day off with a lovely walk to the town lighthouse which is the original and still in working condition. After that was my swimming with dolphins tour which I must admit was awesome. I had a lot of fun and since we were with wild dolphins we were not allowed to touch them or go in the water with any baby dolphins and we didn’t want to break the bond it has with the mother. Once we found a pod of dolphins we waited to see if they had a positive reaction to the boat and had a playful attitude; then we hoped in the water and waited to see if they would come closer. Some people in our group had a lot of success as the dolphins came really close them which was cool to see.