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Kaikoura - Things to do

When you drive a couple of hours from Christchurch and head up north, you’ll bump into Kaikoura, a picturesque coastal town with a backdrop the towering Kaikoura Ranges. 


With a population of just over 2200 inhabitants, Kaikoura does certainly not belong to the largest towns on the east coast of the South Island. However, this humble town makes up for its size with magnificent views of the Kaikoura mountains and the presence of some extraordinary marine life. Kaikoura is known for a massive population of dolphins and whales and is even considered a prime location for whale watching in New Zealand’s South Island. 


Get close-up interactions with the majestic creatures on a whale watching tour in Kaikoura, during which whale sightings are guaranteed. Keep your eyes open for pods of friendly dolphins and New Zealand fur seals as well. But literally the biggest attractions here are sperm whales, an enormous species that reaches a length of 20 metres and is unique for this part of New Zealand. In winter, humpback whales can be seen in Kaikoura as migratory visitors.


An alternative way of whale watching is to observe the splendid animals from a higher perspective. With a Kaikoura whale-watching flight, you can truly capture the greatness of the whales, the size of dolphin pods, and the picture-perfect scenery on the eastern coast.


The town offers more than marine safaris alone. It is a joy to stretch the legs on the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. This trail displays the wild shoreline, where boulder beaches and bays envelop at your feet as you go. You might even find some fur seals sunbathing on the rocks!


Spring and Summer are outstanding seasons to go fishing in the ocean or to paddle down the stony peninsula with a sea kayaking tour in Kaikoura.


If you happen to be in Kaikoura in the wintertime, you might want to grab to the opportunity to travel to Mount Lyford. This favoured winter sports area has numerous slopes to get your ski or snowboard thrills.


Dive a bit deeper, and you’ll notice that Kaikoura has so many exciting features and fun activities!