PHOTOGRAPHS & WORDS: T. KRISHNA PRABAKAR
Two years ago, a devastating earthquake hit the coastal town of Kaikoura in South Island, New Zealand. I had visited less than a month earlier. Now Kaikoura has almost completely recovered from its ordeal, and I can, once again, look at these photographs, without a pang of nostalgia for what might have been lost
My introduction to Kaikoura’s brilliant landscape came at Fyffe Quay, from where the view of the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean with the snow-capped Kaikoura Ranges beyond was almost overwhelming. We grabbed a bite at the solitary Kaikoura Seafood BBQ kiosk, washing down the grilled crayfish it is famous for with a selection of interesting beverages. The weather was great and it seemed we could not turn without being presented with another great vista. The sunrises from the Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses, where we were staying, were nothing short of a dramatic draping of the view in changing shades of purple. Our luck did not hold enough to allow us to spot whales on our flight with Wings over Whales Kaikoura, nor penguins off Ohau Point Lookout, but we were rewarded in seals!
The weather was warm and the New Zealand fur seals were out sunbathing. Languorous and lumbering, they were fascinating to watch, like grey, water-filled balloons. The pups glowed golden; their liquid eyes following us even while they never raised their heads.