Animal Wildlife In Kaikoura

May 4, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Situated on the East Coast of New Zealand’s East Coast, the township of Kaikoura is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the natural beauty and adventure that surrounds the area. Snowcapped mountains border one side of the township while the coast sits on the other. This combination is part of the reason that local and international visitors flock to the area all year round to experience Kaikoura.

As well as creating some of the most spectacular views in the country, Kaikoura’s unique landscape is also home to a variety of wildlife; creating a town which is well suited to eco-tourism. In particular, Kaikoura is known for its marine animal wildlife. Here is some of the most amazing wildlife which resides in Kaikoura Peninsula.

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Image Credit: www.whalewatch.co.nz

WHALES

Off the coast of Kaikoura there is a 2km deep undersea canyon. The convergence of two strong sea currents in this trench draws plant and animal nutrients to the surface and is responsible for marine animals flocking to the area. One of the most famous animals taking advantage of these nutrient rich waters is the Giant Sperm Whale. Year round residents in the area, Giant Sperm Whales draw in visitors who enjoy the town’s whale watching tours which allow them to get up close with these spectacular sea giants. Seasonal visits from Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales and Southern Right Whales are also common in the area.

DOLPHINS

Joining the whales in Kaikoura’s waters is a number of dolphin species. Dusky Dolphins can be seen all year round and have a reputation for showing off their acrobatic skills. Different seasons also see other species of dolphin including Orca and Bottlenose Dolphin making an appearance.

FUR SEALS

Kaikoura has several Fur Seal colonies with the animal making a triumphant return from the brink of extinction which is a result of last century’s seal hunting. There are several points along the coast road that Fur Seals can be seen, as well as a seal rookery where pups can be seen with their mothers.

PELAGIC BIRDS

The largest concentration of seabirds on mainland New Zealand can be found in Kaikoura, as well as the largest variety. Taking advantage of the abundance of fish and shallow waters in Kaikoura, pelagic birds in their thousands flock to the area. 14 different species of albatross have earned Kaikoura the title of the Albatross Capital of the World. Multiple species of Shags, Petrels, Prions, Penguins and Shearwaters can also be spotted, with chartered boats specifically for bird viewing operating out of the township.

With such an abundance and variety of marine life taking up residence in Kaikoural, the township makes the ideal destination for those looking to experience some of New Zealand’s most amazing animals. Find out more about Kaikoura’s animals on the Whale Watch website.

If you are thinking about taking a New Zealand vacation, make Kaikoura your destination! Talk to the knowledgable team at Whale Watch Kaikoura about getting the most out of your visit.

White Water Rafting on the Pigeon River

April 3, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Explore the pristine environment of the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding areas with action-packed White Water Rafting on the Pigeon River! This is a great way to have a fun-filled afternoon with family and friends in the Smokies. Not only are you in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains but it also provides a great way to cool down on a hot day. White Water Rafting season in the Smokies generally gets started at the first of March and ramps up as the end of May approaches and does not usually slow down until after Labor Day and into November. Some rafting companies will run trips through the fall and a few will even float in the winter months. The Pigeon River water is controlled by a dam so in the off-months the rafting tour companies are reliant on the release of the dam. Starting in the month of May the release days are guaranteed for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and June 1st through Labor Day, Saturday is also guaranteed. Please check with the rafting companies for availability.

The main rafting post is 25 miles away from downtown Gatlinburg. Located in Hartford, Tennessee on the Pigeon River, it’s a beautiful drive out to Hartford on Highway 321 and you can even take the Foothills Parkway for a more scenic view. You will want to allow between 40 minutes and 1 hour to get to the outpost depending on where you are located and traffic.

You have a couple of different white water rafting options on the Pigeon River. The Upper Pigeon contains more challenging obstacles and involves both class III and class IV rapids. The Lower half of the Pigeon River entails almost all class I and II rapids and offers a bit of a slower pace. Regardless of your choice both sections of the Pigeon River are great for novices and make an unbelievable family rafting adventure!

During the summer months you will want to wear a swimsuit. Synthetics are recommended during the cooler days of spring and fall. Make sure to bring a towel, clothes to change into, and shoes with a back. Do not wear flip-flops or you will have to purchase water shoes to go down the river.

Rafting on the Pigeon River offers a great value for budget-minded families. For only around $30 per person you can experience the Smoky Mountains, white water raft, and create a lifetime of memories!

Learn more about white water rafting. Stop by Thomas McMahon’s blog where you can find out all about Rafting in the Smokies and Outfitters.

A Few Must See Sights To Visit In Berlin

April 1, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Just on the outskirts of Berlin’s city centre is the very popular Charlottenburg Palace, dating from the early 18th century. It is a present from King Friedrich III to Sophie Charlotte, his better half. It is enclosed by terribly attractive parkland which lies beside the River Spree. Surrounding the palace is the upper class neighbourhood of Charlottenburg. A walk round the grounds is advocated, after which one can get their culture fix in the six museums on Schlossstrasse, which faces the Palace.

When Berlin usurped the standing of capital city from Bonn in the early 90s, the Reichstag building, which dates from the late 19th century, was totally renovated and updated. A glass dome was created, offering a 360 degree view of Berlin. After its renovation, a considerable number of prominent buildings popped up round the Reichstag, like the Fed. Chancellery and new Central Train Station (Hauptbahnhof). The Victory Column, dating from the late 19th century, previously stood facing the Reichstag for many years. It now stands at Grosser Stern – in the late 1930s the Nazis moved it here as they felt that it was a more celebrated location.

The Tierpark Berlin, Europe’s biggest zoo covering a few hundred acres, is renowned for its accomplishment in breeding elephants – friendly 15 babies since 1999. Approximately 7800 creatures, representing almost nine hundred species, live here. They include unique species such as sun bears, Indian giant flying foxes, lemurs and red and black varis, which live in habitats such as the Hummingbird-Crocodile House, Afrikanum, Tropical Hall, Snake Farm and Vari Forest. The zoo has been showing animals to the general public since the mid 50s, when it was found at Friedrichsfelde Palace, dating from the late 17th century. Since 2009 the palace has again been subsumed into the grounds of the zoo and is a location for regular events,eg concerts.

Potsdamer Platz and its neighbor, Leipziger Platz, used to be the centres of commerce before World War Ii started. With two train stations, a big amount of shops, theatres, theatres, warehouses and more, it was one of the most frantic districts in Berlin, leading to the installation of the first traffic lights on the continent. The years spanning the end of the second World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall nevertheless , made a very different area, as the Wall divided Potsdamer Platz in two. Bordering it were no-man’s-land and what inhabitants came to understand as the death sector. However , after reunification, this area was regenerated. Global firms supported the effort by locating offices here, and many shops were inspired to open in the area. A considerable number of illustrious cinemas were also built, leading to this area’s recent reputation for celeb spotting.

At Sea Life aquarium, 1000s of sea creatures like jellyfish and sharks can be seen in a rigorously recreated habitat. Some of them even enjoy being stroked! The building is designed and assembled so that one feels they’re going on an underwater trip, following the Frenzy River to the Atlantic Ocean, before spanning out to the Pacific and Indian Seas. Over 5,000 animals live here. The AquaDom is the world’s largest freestanding aquarium, served by a glass elevator which can let you see shoals of tropical fish swimming in 1,000,000 litres of seawater.

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