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Kaikoura, New ZealandKaikoura History

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

The environment in Kaikoura is truly spectacular, the abundant sea life attracting whalers during early European settlement.

Kaikoura History Overview

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Fur seals in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Fur Seals, Kaikoura
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda
(hnamechan@hotmail.com)

Kaikoura is a stunning location, enjoying beautiful scenery combined with abundant sea and bird life. The abundance of food brought early Maori settlement, and later a bustling European whaling industry. Eventually all whaling operations stopped and New Zealand passed the 1978 Marine Mammal Protection Act to protect the marine life.

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Early Maori History

Kaikoura translates in the Maori language to a 'meal of crayfish'. 'Kai' means 'food', 'koura' means 'crayfish'. In Maori legend, Maui placed his foot on the Kaikoura peninsula to steady himself while he 'fished up' the North Island.

The area around Kaikoura has traditionally been famous for its abundant resources of crayfish. This attracted early Maori settlement, and several of their pa (villages) can still be seen on the peninsula.

European Settlement

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Whale watching in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Whale Watching, Kaikoura
Photographer: Chris McLennan
(www.cmphoto.co.nz)

In 1770 the famous European explorer Captain Cook discovered the Kaikoura peninsula, however mistakenly thought it to be an island.

Whaling began in 1843 and grew to be such a bustling industry that over one hundred men in the Kaikoura district alone were employed by the whaling industry. Whaling declined over time, and in 1964 the last of New Zealand's whaling operations ceased.

Eco Kaikoura Today

Today Kaikoura has changed its focus from destroying the local marine life to conserving it. Now tourists from all over the world can come to watch the whales, dolphins, orcas and seals that inhabit the waters and appreciate it for its true beauty. In 1978 the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed. This law provides total protection to New Zealand's whales, dolphins and seals. Kaikoura is also within the Southern Hemisphere Whale Sanctuary.

Kaikoura, http://www.kaikoura.co.nz/main/Kaikoura/, retrieved 12/02/2007

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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.