Start the day by meeting Kaikoura’s locals – the local whales, that is. A whale watching cruise offers exciting close-up encounters with the giant sperm whale, the world’s largest toothed predator. As they're year-round residents, the chance of seeing them is high. Sightings of other creatures vary throughout the year – you may also see Humpbacks, Blue Whales, Southern Right Whales, Hector’s Dolphins and rare sea birds.
Other Marine-life Encounters
Kaikoura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters, and the local seal colony is always entertaining. Swim with fun-loving dusky dolphins and watch fur seals rest on warm rocks after a big night of fishing. Take a bird watching tour to view seabirds, albatross, molly-mawks, petrels and many more.
Nowadays, the focus in Kaikoura is on conserving the marine life within a sustainable tourism industry.
Kaikoura actually means meal of crayfish and this area is a culinary hotspot in terms of seafood. Feast on fresh crayfish from one of the many ‘Seafood Caravans’ that dot the highways surrounding Kaikoura. Selling crayfish and that day’s seafood catch – you can’t get fresher than that. Sitting on the beach devouring crayfish cooked with garlic and butter and looking out to the Pacific Ocean is a special kind of bliss.
It's not all about the crayfish though, other local specialities include paua, mussels, whitebait & hapuku. Kaikoura is the best place to sample these dishes.
The Infinity Experience
Spectacular Coastal SceneryShutterstock
Content & assistance provided by Tourism New Zealand.