Extensive road works north and south of Kaikōura meant that it took more than an hour longer than we’d expected to travel to Cheviot from Picton but seeing the extent of the earthquake devastation and the amount of reinstatement work required was a real eye-opener, making the delay worthwhile. At Ohau Point, hundreds of seals lay sunning themselves on rocks or slinking into the sea while almost as many tourists watched them.

Hurunui River mouth – a great fishing spot!

We were lucky enough to be stopped for roadworks right above the stream that little seals have made their post-earthquake nursery and it was a joy to see them cavorting in the water, and to notice a large pod of dolphins close to shore.

Historic bridge across the Hurunui River

We were on our way to Geraldine for the start of our NZ Adventures Big Sky back-country tour and had decided to stay somewhere we’d never been to before. Our decision was made after seeing Cheviot Motel and Holiday Park’s website, which listed several day-trip options. We chose to stay at the motel which has six comfortable units, but there are also cabins, camp sites and a jail.

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