Kaikoura the favourite eco-tourist destination
With the Pacific Ocean at your door and snow-capped mountains reaching skyward from the rugged coastline, you could be in only one place – Kaikoura.
Kaikoura is situated
2.5 hours from Christchurch (scenic route)
1.5 hours from Hanmer (inland route)
2 hours from Blenheim (coastal route)
Kaikoura has magnificent scenery, with great marine attractions and adventure activities, and a rich history, both Maori and Pakeha.
Framed by the spectacular mountain range and the expansive Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura is a thriving seaside town about two and a half hours' drive north of Christchurch.
The Maori name Kaikoura translates as 'meal of crayfish' (kai=food, koura=crayfish), and it is crayfish for which the region has traditionally been famous.
Kaikoura has a whole range of culinary delights, from freshly caught fish to crayfish and paua. The ocean of extravaganza provides an interesting array of tastes, sights and sounds.
Kaikoura boasts a number of tourist attractions; it's famous for Whalewatch and Dolphin Encounter, and also provides a wonderful opportunity for viewing an impressive array of seabirds such as the mighty albatross.
Whales can be viewed from a boat or from the air, depending on weather conditions. There are amazing coastal walks alongside the magnificent Kaikoura Range, with abundant aquatic and bird life.
The Peninsula's tip provides the opportunity to view fur seals basking on the rocks, or see some of the world's largest seagoing birds.
Numerous adventures await your arrival back on land, including 4-wheel motor biking, cave tours, horse trekking, skiing, scenic mountain flights, mini-golf course, public swimming pool, and a skateboard park. Fishing off the new wharf is a popular pastime for local kids and visitors alike, as is walking along beaches, and exploring tidal pools.
Surfing is a popular water activity and many indulge in the sport, either for competition or leisure, at world-renowned Mangamaunu Beach and Puketa Beach.
Dolphin Encounter specialises in providing an exhilarating experience of swimming or watching wild dusky dolphins in their natural environment off the Kaikoura coast.
Albatross Encounter takes advantage of the epic diversity of albatross species and numerous other pelagic birds all located within 15 minutes of Kaikoura’s coastline.
Whale Watch® is New Zealand's only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the giant Sperm Whale all year round. A 95% success rate means a guaranteed 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. Whale Watch tours are extremely popular so early bookings are recommended.
Whether you want to paddle with the marine life, go kayak fishing, hire your own boat or up skill your paddling through the kayak school all your dreams can be fulfilled at Kaikoura Kayaks! Our Kayak Store is stocked with top of the range gear and you can also shop online.
The curious NZ Fur Seals, Dusky Dolphins and Blue Penguins are only a few paddle strokes away and our local guides would love to introduce you to them around the Kaikoura Peninsula.
Our hassle free, Eco Friendly tours offer a safe, enjoyable, interactive trip, with little effort and a whole lot of good fun!
Join us for a totally unique experience seal swimming with New Zealand Fur Seals in their own spectacular environment on Kaikoura's beautiful coast! Snorkelling with wild New Zealand Fur Seals, in the shallow waters of the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula, truly is a unique experience. It's one of those simple nature experiences that opens your mind to the sheer magnificence of our natural environment and its amazing inhabitants. A breath taking nature activity. You won’t believe how curious, friendly and playful New Zealand Fur Seals can be in the water.
Put yourself in the ultimate vantage point and explore Kaikoura and its many natural wonders with Kaikoura Helicopters.
See the entire Whale, as we hover and fly slow orbits above him. Be amazed by the large pods of Dolphins. Explore the unique and rugged Kaikoura Coastline. Fly through the touring peaks of the Kaikoura Seaward Ranges. Discover your sense of adventure by experiencing a heli raft, hike or picnic. We welcome children of any age, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Flights run on demand daily from 8am.
While you are in New Zealand head for Kaikoura and go whale watching ... by aeroplane! It's the best way to view whales and mountains. In a typical 30 minute flight you will see the majestic Sperm Whale preparing for his next dive and up to 500 Dusky Dolphins playfully swimming. Occasional sightings include Southern Right, Humpback, Fin, Sei, Brydes, Pilot, Southern Bottlenose and Blue Whales. Other, less frequent, visitors to the area include Common, Hectors, Risso's, Southern Right Whale Dolphins and Orcas.http://worldofwhales.co.nz/