Around two and a half hours up the coast from Christchurch sits the town of Kaikoura, known for its beautiful geography, abundant wildlife and friendly locals. This seaside town epitomises natural New Zealand, and acts as a great base for both North and South Island exploration. Let’s take a look at some of our favourite things to do in Kaikoura.
Spot Dusky Dolphins in the Wild
While the landscape of Kaikoura is gorgeous, the history of the town focuses largely on the sea, and it’s here that some its main attractions still reside. The first of these is the local population of Dusky Dolphins. These beautiful creatures live in the coastal waters of Kaikoura all year round, and this is one of the few places in the world where seeing dolphins is pretty much guaranteed – on a daily basis! But it’s not just about watching dolphins in Kaikoura, competent swimmers are also able to swim with them out in the open ocean. Friendly, expert boat crews make this a day out to remember (as does the lovely café by the booking office!), and one of the best experiences in Kaikoura.
Another fantastic local seaside experience involves the next of our wondrous sea creatures – the majestic whale! Kaikoura is a place like no other when it comes to whale watching. With a 95% chance of seeing a whale and the likelihood of also seeing dolphins, seals, even a Wondering Albatross, it’s absolutely one of the best things to do in Kaikoura. Some of the fantastic tours will even give you 80% of your ticket price back if you don’t see a whale while you’re out on the ocean! Just be aware that the waters off Kaikoura can be a little choppy so make sure you have your sea legs (or motion sickness tablets) with you.
Take in the Views of the Peninsula Walkway
But Kaikoura’s not all about the ocean. It is in fact a stunningly beautiful place to walk, and one of the best tours of Kaikoura you’ll find is the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Starting from the centre of Kaikoura, the whole walkway takes about three hours, but there are are several sections to it that you can explore individually if a shorter walk would suit you better. The walk offers tremendous cliff top views of the ocean and the Seaward Kaikoura Range, as well as the chance to see all sorts of wildlife from seals to dolphins, even crayfish! It’s mostly a fairly easy going walk, with plenty of viewpoints, information boards and benches along the way. It can be a little windy out on the peninsula and cliff tops, however, so keep children with you at all times.
Kaikoura is a wonderful little town that is somehow greater than the sum of its not insubstantial parts! It’s been a favourite for a few of us Silver Ferners for some time, so drop us a line to find out more about this little gem.
Ready to Visit Kaikoura?
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