Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

Two hours north of Christchurch is the “we can’t believe how beautiful this is” town of Kaikoura, situated on a rocky peninsula with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. The Māori name of Kaikoura translates to “meal of crayfish” (kai = food, koura = crayfish) for which the region is famous. And it’s this abundance of crayfish, combined with a complex marine system and rich habitat, which draws so many visitors here—humans and animals alike. In fact, you could call Kaikoura a marine mammal mecca, where sperm whales, fur seals, and dolphins live permanently, while migrating species like the rare Hector’s dolphins, humpback whales, and orca pop by for visits.

Sure, there are plenty of other things to see and do here, but trust us: If you’ve ever wanted to watch a whale breach, or gaze in sheer joy as dozens of dolphins leap out of the water and do back flips, Kaikoura is probably the best place in the world to do it.

WHALE WATCHING TOURS

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WHALE WATCHING TOURS

WHALE WATCHING TOURS

If you’ve ever wanted to watch a whale breach, see dozens of dolphins leap out of the water and do back flips, or even swim with New Zealand fur seals, then Kaikoura is probably the best place in the world to do it. Choose from a variety of half and full-day trips.

KAIKOURA PENINSULA WALKWAY

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KAIKOURA PENINSULA WALKWAY

KAIKOURA PENINSULA WALKWAY

Be sure you bring your walking shoes to hike this well marked trail and enjoy truly breathtaking scenery set against a dramatic backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Information panels along the trail provide details and explanations of the rich culture, geology, and wildlife of the area.

FYFFE HOUSE

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FYFFE HOUSE

FYFFE HOUSE

Learn more about the fascinating history of the whaling industry in Kaikoura. Built in the 1860s, Fyffe House is the towns’ oldest surviving building. Constructed from native timber with mud and straw insulation, the cottage sits on a foundation made partly of whale vertebrae.

Kaikoura, New Zealand At a glance

Current Weather:
12°C / 53 °F
Wed
16°
Thu
17°
Fri
18°
11°
Sat
13°
Current Time:
10:48:10 pm2017/04/25 22:48:10 pm
NZST
Tuesday, April 25
Offset:
UTC/GMT +12:00
Currency:
New Zealand Dollar
Exchange Rates:
  • 0.70
  • 0.95
  • 0.55
  • 0.93
  • 0.64
  • 45.17
  • 2.19
  • 13.17
Local Details:
Size: 6.78 KM2 (2.62 MI2)
Population: 3,640
Density: 537 Pop/KM2 (207 Pop/MI2)
Country Code: +64

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