Perhaps one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets is the Banks Peninsula. Just a short drive or bus ride from Christchurch, it isn’t too hard to get to an amazing part of the country’s South Island. I learnt of Akaroa, a town on the peninsula, from a fellow backpacker, who had swam with dolphins there. I decided to check it out myself and stayed at Onuku Farm Hostel, a working sheep farm, for a few days. Initially booked only two nights, but ended up staying four. I loved it so much. The hostel organises the dolphin swim tours themselves. It was awesome not having the masses of tourists around so I could see the Hector’s dolphins comfortably in their natural habitat.
I took this photo at Onuku Farm Hostel from one of their paddocks where the owner has set up a volleyball net. I don’t know if they still do it, but when I was there, you could play volleyball at 6 PM every day. I suck at playing volleyball, but the vibe was cool and it didn’t matter if you were good or not. What mattered was having a great time with fellow backpackers. And I did! 🙂 Another big bonus was that at the end of the day, the setting sun would colour the hills golden. Beautiful!