What to do in Kaikoura

Whale watching tours are Kaikoura’s most popular attraction. The boats approach to within about 100m of the whales so you are guaranteed a breath-taking spectacle. Whales are seen 95% of the time.

Whale Watch is New Zealand's only vessel based whale watching company offering an exciting up-close encounter with the worlds largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year. Their 95% success rate means they guarantee an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale.

https://www.whalewatch.co.nz/

Freephone 0800 655 121

 

Dolphin encounter gives you two different ways to enjoy our famous dusky dolphin pods, either from the comfort of the boat or right up close and in-person in the water

Dolphins are some of nature’s most extraordinary and captivating creatures. And they’re even more amazing close-up. Immerse yourself in their world with Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura, an unforgettable experience in one of New Zealand’s most breath-taking destinations.

https://www.dolphinencounter.co.nz/

Freephone: 0800 733 365

 

The Kaikoura coast is rich in fish and this gives us several large seal colonies. Some seal colonies are easily accessed on foot or by car or you can experience kayaking with seals for that close-up experience.

Seal Swim Kaikōura is a totally unique experience. They operate from 1st of November to 1st of May (closed through the winter) and offer swimming with Kekeno (New Zealand Fur Seals) in their own spectacular marine environment on the beautiful East Coast of the South Island.

https://www.sealswimkaikoura.co.nz/

Freephone: 0800 732 579

A short fifteen-minute boat ride out from the Kaikoura coast, and you're in an entirely new world, where you'll discover a large variety of pelagic birds including albatross, shearwaters, petrels, penguins, gannets, skuas, terns and more. It's a feeling of total freedom and wonder.

Albatross Encounter Welcome to our corner of the world, where majestic birds soar and dive over stunning waters beneath endless sky. Discover many species of albatross and pelagic birds on your Albatross Encounter tour, an unforgettable experience in one of New Zealand’s most breath-taking destinations.

https://albatrossencounter.co.nz/

Freephone: 0800 733 365

Kaikoura Adventure Race 2021

The Kaikoura Adventure Race 2021 will take place over three days; 24-26 April, 2021. For 2021 there is an additional 24-hour race as well as last year’s combination of 3, 6 and 12 hour courses. The 24-hour race is set to be tough. The aim is to test the top adventure racing teams from New Zealand and the event will be part of the A1 Series. The organizers have been working hard to make all of the courses a little more manageable for a range of experience levels and much closer to the expected winning times for the 3, 6 and 12 hour races. There is something that will suit everyone’s abilities and skills, whether a first timer or an experienced adventure racer from way back!

 

All types of fishing are popular in Kaikoura and there’s a fishing charter to suit everyone, whether it’s a family with children, fishing newbie or seasoned angler. The most commonly caught fish here are; Blue Cod, Grouper, Sea Perch and of course Crayfish.

Fishing:  There is all sorts of fishing available in Kaikoura, whether it’s from the old pier at the south end of the main bay, from the beaches of either bay, from a kayak or on a fishing charter.

There are many fishing charter operations in Kaikoura and some are listed here: https://fishingbooker.com/destinations/location/nz/kaikoura

 

Experience the excitement of watching Fur Seals ducking, weaving and diving around your kayak. Paddle gently along with them as they swim around the Kaikoura Peninsula hunting for their favourite feed of Octopus. But be sure to keep your distance as they devour their delicious dinner in front of you, then watch in amazement as hundreds of Pelagic (ocean going) birds swoop in to clean up the tasty left-overs.

Kayaking is a great way to explore the Kaikoura coast and get up close to seals and albatrosses. There are two companies that offer guided kayaking trips.

Kaikoura Kayaks: https://kaikourakayaks.nz/

Seal Kayak Kaikoura: https://www.sealkayakkaikoura.com/

Cook Strait ferry choices

The Cook Strait ferry terminals at Picton are two hours and forty minutes driving time from Kaikoura. The crossing takes between three and three and a half hours, half of which is passing through the gorgeous Marlborough Sounds.

The ferries carry passengers and vehicles and the daytime sailings connect to the Coastal Pacific railway. Bookings are essential during peak season but outside of those times you can usually book immediately prior to crossing. Two companies operate the route; Interislander and Bluebridge.

Experience Kaikoura’s mighty Sperm whale, playful Dusky Dolphins, and majestic scenery from above! The scenic flights showcase the very best of Kaikoura: from Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges, to the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Peninsula.

To appreciate the beauty and contrasts of Kaikoura, there is nothing better than seeing it from the air. Experience for yourself the stunning beauty of a place where mountains meet the sea, and marine life abounds. Scenic flights and whale watching are available in both plane and helicopter from four different operators.

Scenic flights: https://www.kaikoura.co.nz/see-do/scenic-flights/

Seaview Motel

164 Esplanade
Kaikoura 7300
New Zealand

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