I love winter in Kaikoura. I know it's cold, and sometimes wet and windy, but these wonderful crisp winter days just make you glad to be alive. Kaikoura tends to be very quiet at this time but what people don't realise is how special it can be here at this time of the year. The mountains are covered in snow and glow with colour when the sun is rising and setting. The trees still have some of their autumn colours and the sea is sometimes at its calmest on those still days after a cold frost.

Whale Watch, Dolphin Encounter and Albatross Encounter all continue throughout winter and have some of their best trips at this time. The humpback whales all come through over the next few months and the resident sperm whales in the area make frequent appearances.

You can ski not too far away from here too, Mt Lyford - just an hour from Kaikoura, opens on July 4th. There is a shuttle that operates each day to take you from Kaikoura township.

I love watching the intrepid surfers who take advantage of this time of year too at Maungamanu and Meatworks - there is something amazing about watching people surfing with a backdrop of towering snowy mountains.

The very best part of winter though is the Ohau Seal Pool where you can see lots of baby seals who make their way up to a waterfall and spend their day just swimming and playing, to the delight of all who take the easy ten minute walk up the track. Just babies, no adults, and you can't help feel happy when watching their antics. You can also see lots of seals at on the beach opposite. It is worth coming to Kaikoura for this unique (and free) experience of a lifetime.

© The Factory, Kaikoura