South Island Destinations Things to do in Kaikoura New Zealand
Kaikoura New Zealand

Things to do in Kaikoura New Zealand

Kaikoura New Zealand is widely known for its marine and wildlife.

The waters surrounding Kaikoura boast an abundance of sea life species.

This is because the continental shelf is just offshore.

Water depths in the Kaikoura canyon increase up to 1000m creating the perfect feeding ground for sea life.

Dolphins frequent the seas and are a huge draw for visitors with so many people adoring these friendly and playful creatures.

The Maouri translation of “Kaikoura” reads “eat crawfish” with “Kai” meaning eat or food and “Koura” meaning crayfish and this gives you a hint of what Kaikoura is all about.

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Must do Kaikoura New Zealand

Swim with the Dolphins

This is possibly the best place you can go to Swim with the Dolphins in their natural environment.

With so many species of dolphin in the seas of Kaikoura New Zealand you will be spoiled for choice.

From the largest Dolphin The Orca to the smallest and rarest Dolphin the hector dolphins they have it all here.

Dolphin watching

Just because you don’t fancy getting in the Sea with the dolphins doesn’t mean you cant get up close and personal.

Take a boat trip and go see them for yourself.

If truth be told it is a lot easier to see the Dolphins playing around from outside the water.

Not only that you will get to witness a huge variety of birds including the scary looking Albatross in the process.

Kaikoura New Zealand Dolphins

Whale watching

With the sperm Whale, Humpback whale, blue whale, pilot whale and Orca (actually a dolphin) regular visitors to the seas of Kaikoura you have a pretty decent chance of seeing a Whale if you book onto on of the Whale watching tours on offer in Kaikoura New Zealand.

If you are hoping to see a particular type of Whale check what season those Whales pass by to avoid disappointment.

As with all Dolphin and Whale watching tours be prepared to go with a possibility that you do not see anything, that way you can enjoy the ride and hope for the best. Usually you will not be disappointed.

What else is there to do Kaikoura New Zealand?

Lets take a look at some of the other marine themed activities you can do in Kaikoura:

  • Maori leap – cave
  • Quad Biking
  • Fishing
  • Diving & Snorkelling – one of the best spots in NZ
  • Kayaking
  • Horse Trekking – if you don’t fancy the hike, why not!
  • Scenic flights
  • Wine tasting

Free stuff to do

  • Hiking / Trekking – take a wander up Mt Fyffe for mouth-watering view of Kaikoura
  • Birdwatching – See Albatross, Petrels, Shearwaters, Shags, Terns and Gulls
  • Surfing – Kaikoura has some of the best waves in NZ

How do you get to Kaikoura New Zealand?

If you jump off at Picton (the main port between the North and South islands) and head towards Christchurch along the coast for around 2 hours you will arrive at Kaikoura.

As you approach the town you will notice the obvious decent from the mountains to the ocean and this is also continues under the water.

Alternatively if you can fly into Christchurch and head along the east coast towards Picton for around 2.5 hours.

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