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Kaikoura, New ZealandKaikoura Activity Highlights

Kaikoura | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

Kaikoura is an eco-tourism adventure playground. Go whale watching, swim with the dolphins, or hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and visit the seal colony.

Kaikoura Activity Highlights Overview

Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds—it's also a great place to eat crayfish (in the Maori language kai means food, koura means crayfish).

Kaikoura's special talent is marine mammal encounters—whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Whale watching trips leave the town several times a day and the local seal colony is always entertaining. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops.

» Kaikoura Activities Directory

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Get Close to Nature in Kaikoura

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Whale watching in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Whale Watching, Kaikoura
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda
(hnamechan@hotmail.com)

A variety of rare marine mammals converge off the Kaikoura coast—sperm whales, New Zealand fur seals, dolphins and penguins.

There are many ways to get close to these marine mammals:

  • Go whale watching by boat or air, all year round
  • Swim with or observe dolphins on a dolphin encounter
  • Experience seal swimming with a land-based or boat-based guided seal snorkelling tour

Kaikoura Birdlife

Kaikoura is not only home to marine mammals. Many species of birds colonise the shores of the Kaikoura coast also.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Sawcut George Walk north of Kaikoura, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Sawcut George Walk
North of Kaikoura
Photographer: Graham Charles
(imagematters@clear.net.nz)
  • Take a bird watching tour, to view seabirds, albatross, molly-mawks, petrels and many more
  • Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway—three hours return to visit a seal colony, limestone formations and a seabird colony

In Kaikoura Township

Don't bypass the Kaikoura township.

  • Visit Fyffe House, a colonial whalers cottage
  • Eat fresh seafood in one of Kaikoura's delightful waterfront restaurants
  • Try for a hole-in-one at the Kaikoura Golf Club

Other Kaikoura Attractions

Don't be mistaken, there's even more to Kaikoura!

  • Go surfing, or take some learn to surf lessons
  • Fish for blue cod, sea perch, crayfish and much more
  • Learn to fly at the Kaikoura Aero Club
  • Visit the Kaikoura Winery
  • Take a Maori tour and learn of our heritage and culture
  • Raft the Clarence River
  • Experience the incredible Southern Hemisphere Night Sky over New Zealand

Useful Kaikoura Links

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Kaikoura Region Information

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Distinction Hotels

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Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.