Kaikoura is a seaside village, situated midway between Christchurch and Picton on the rugged east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Kaikoura’s environment is truly spectacular, being caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape. An easy two-hour drive north of Christchurch, Kaikoura makes for a great day trip or a fun stop on your way to Marlborough. There are plenty of activities to choose from but the marine mammal encounters is what Kaikoura specializes in, whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Whale watching trips leave the town several times a day and the local seal colony is always entertaining. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops to explore and don’t forget to sample the Crayfish!
Kaikoura Whale Watch
A typical whale watch tour (boat excursion duration 2.5 hours) may encounter New Zealand fur seals, pods of dusky dolphins and the endangered wandering albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales and southern right whales. Kaikoura often hosts the world’s largest dolphin—the orca—and is home to the world’s smallest and rarest—the hector’s. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of albatross, 14 varieties of petrels and seven types of shearwater. Designed for New Zealand whale watching tours, their modern catamarans are equipped with engines that minimize underwater noise and toilets that never pollute the sea. The main passenger cabin is enclosed and large outside decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities.
From $136 per person