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Kaikoura

Kaikouras mountain range, Canterbury, New Zealand Albatross, Kaikoura New Zealand fur seal pups, Kaikoura

The vibrant seaside town of Kaikoura is located halfway between Picton and Blenheim on the craggy east coast of the South Island. The breath-taking sight of the spectacular snow-capped mountains rising out of the pristine waters of Pacific Ocean provides the backdrop for a range of exciting sea and land attractions. This historic town offers visitors a wide choice of activities and accommodation. It is a principal nature tourist destination, widely known for its whale watching tours.

Year round whale watching tours take visitors out onto the Pacific Ocean to see the giant sperm whales. At a certain time of year humpback whales pass through Kaikoura on their way to the feed in the Antarctic waters. Other wales are also occasionally spotted in the area, such as minke, pilot, blue, fin, killer, sei and beaked whales.

Dolphins are another draw for visitors to the waters around Kaikoura. The playful pods of dusky dolphins live here year-round and have a great reputation for interacting with and entertaining visitors. Swimming with dolphins in these lovely unspoiled waters could be the adventure of a lifetime.

Kaikoura is home to many fur seal colonies, which are easily viewed from Highway 1. The everyday activities of the seals are captivating to watch, from the way they interact with each other to their playful nature of swimming. The Ohau Waterfall Track is an easy 10 minutes walk which leads to where the seal pups gather to play while mum is off looking for food. Snorkelling with the seals in the beautiful shallow waters of the picturesque Kaikoura Peninsula is a very unique experience and one not quickly forgotten.

There is an impressive variety of marine life to be experience in Kaikoura, such as albatross and other sea birds. Walking is a wonderful way to see the dramatic scenery of the region. The Coastal Peninsula Walk is a stunning circular walk suitable for all ages and abilities. There is a choice of walking along the coast or up along the cliff. There are many other walks in and around Kaikoura, ranging from short strolls to multi-day tramps. The guided walk options include multi-day hikes that take walkers off the beaten track across private land.

Maori cultural tours are a delightful way to become involved in the culture and history of the Maori in Kaikoura. What better way to learn about the history of the region than through humour and hands-on activities?

Star gazing is a fantastic way to spend an evening. Kaikoura with its 360 degree views and little light pollution lends itself to be a natural observatory for viewing the night sky of the southern hemisphere.

The skies above Kaikoura are a playground in their own right. Planes head off on sight-seeing adventures, spotting whales, dolphin and seals. Alternatively, for real excitement, try skydiving or pilot a plane yourself.

We have barely touched on the activities that are available in Kaikoura. Of course, there is quad biking and horse riding, river rafting and sea kayaking, mountain luging and mountain biking, farm parks and wineries to visit and countryside to explore. From the energetic to the relaxing, there is more than enough to do to keep you entertained. When it is time to relax after all the excitement, Kaikoura has a host of restaurants and cafes where visitors can savour ocean delights, including the local speciality of crayfish.

For information regarding the accommodations on offer please enquire directly with the listed provider.

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