Our lucky guests went out with Albatross Encounter this week to view  the world's largest seabirds in action. They were astounded at the sheer size of these magnificent birds and the number of different species seen here in Kaikoura. One of the guests commented that this activity was one of the best he had ever experienced and this was from someone who has spent his life guiding tourists around Africa!

 Albatross Encounter have some interesting information about the different species seen in this area and their guides are some of the most knowledgable in the world. Their site tells us that: " Kaikoura has one of the greatest numbers of different types of seabirds within a small area than anywhere along the New Zealand coastline. 

One of the reasons for such a large number of different types of seabirds in Kaikoura is the presence of a deepwater trench (the Kaikoura Canyon), close inshore. Upwellings of cold nutrient rich water over the shallower coastal waters produce and sustain a vibrant food chain supporting a large variety of fish species, marine mammals and seabirds."

Albatross, according to New Zealand's Department of Conservation website, "normally breed on remote islands and spend at least 85 percent of their lives at sea, well away from land and human view.

Renowned ocean wanderers, they travel vast distances from their breeding grounds to feed. The royal albatross, for example, with its massive wingspan of up to 3.3 metres flies an estimated 190,000 kilometres a year"

Paul managed to capture some beautiful photos this week too; we think these images are New Zealand white-capped albatross, one of the Lesser Albatross (also known as mollymawks).

© The Factory, Kaikoura