Located a two hour commute north from Christchurch on the South Island’s north-eastern coast, holidays to Kaikoura mean a seaside spot ideal for travellers exploring both the North and South Islands, or day trippers from the city.
Best known for its world-class whale watching opportunities and easy-access to view many other marine species, this little village with some truly stunning scenery between the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, has a lot to offer in the way of scenic coastal walks and unique views – Kaikoura is certainly one town not to be bypassed!
Kaikoura holidays have a talent for encounters with marine mammals with year-round sightings of sperm whales. Also keep your camera at the ready for opportunities to also spot dolphins, seals, penguins and the mighty albatross, all calling the area their home – and even better if you can book a sighting by boat or flight. You can also get up close with the resident seals and dolphins on a private swimming session in the shallow waters of Kaikoura Peninsula.
Things to do in Kaikoura
While visiting Kaikoura, make the most of the town’s stunning location and meander the peninsula walkways to soak up the grand ocean views from the cliff tops. Or, for a trek with a difference, make like the locals and trek from the beach, through the woodlands and to the riverbed with a friendly, woolly llama for company.
As well as being the perfect base for seeing some of the best marine life you will ever see, Kaikoura is also the seafood capital of New Zealand. We recommend trying some of the local specialties such as grouper, cod, mussels, paua, and the town’s namesake – crayfish.