About Kaikoura (NZ)

Kaikoura is a popular tourist destination, mainly for whale watching by air or sea, (Sperm Whale watching is perhaps the best and most developed in the world) and swimming with dolphins and seals. There is also a large colony of Southern Fur Seals at the eastern edge of the town. At low tide, better viewing of the seals can be had as the ocean gives way to a rocky base which is can be easily navigated by foot.

Fishing in this region is understandably popular due to the abundant marine life. Experienced local fishing charter operators offer trips targeting mainly blue cod, sea perch, groper, and of course the famous Kaikoura crayfish.

Kaikoura Wildlife

Kaikoura is also one of the most reasonably accessible places in the world to see ocean seabirds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters, including the Hutton's shearwater which nests high in Kaikoura's mountains. Kaikoura's emphasis to nature saw the region to be the first local authority to reach the Green Globe tourism certification standard.

The name Kaikoura translates to 'meal of crayfish' (rock lobster) which are plentyful in the Kaikoura Peninsula's upwelling currents. North of Kaikoura is the coastline’s iconic crayfish caravan which has been an attraction for many years, and to sit on the beach eating the fresh delicate crayfish meat while watching the abundant wildlife is a true Kaikoura experience.

Maori History

The earliest Maori hunted moa, sheltered in coastal caves and built fortifications on the hilltops as lookout points.  You can visit some of these places with Maori Tours Kaikoura who offer a cultural experience that draws on family history and tradition with stories handed down through more than 800 years of occupation in the area.

Accommodation in Kaikoura

Visitor accommodation in Kaikoura varies from waterfront motels and luxury holiday apartments to authentic Kiwi bed & breakfast lodges and country retreats.

Skiing near Kaikoura

Mt Lyford ski area is 60km from Kaikoura and the same distance from Hanmer Springs

Follow the link below for a South Island Ski Itinerary which includes Kaikoura:

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