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"Where the Mountains Meet the Sky"

Kaikoura Tourism

Kaikoura, which lies on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, is the perfect place for a weekend getaway from the cities of Picton or Christchurch. It boasts of having the most successful whale and dolphin spotting tours, with an almost hundred per cent spotting rate. One can see various kinds of whales, including sperm whales, orcas, humpback whales and even the mighty blue whale! You could also book a tour to go swimming in the ocean with these gentle, harmless giants. There are multiple whale and dolphin spotting tours that operate here, both on boats and on choppers!

The drive up to Kaikoura from Christchurch takes you through the beautiful Waipara valley, known for its vineyards. The route from Picton is also very scenic as it lies along the coastline. There are day tours that operate from these cities to Kaikoura, just for whale-spotting. However, there is much to explore in the little town, such as the fur-seal colony. You could also try the local and fresh seafood served in multiple places here – the town is famous for its crayfish. Also try the Paua Sandwich, which is sold near the fur seal colony at various snack stalls. Taking a walk along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway would be an ideal way to end a long day, as you can take in the beautiful view of the peninsula.


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Things to Do

1. Whale spotting – There are multiple tours that operate here. You can choose to go on a boat or by a helicopter. The average price for a boat trip is $150 for an adult, and it is the cheapest way to see whales. However, these tours sometimes get cancelled dur to rough weather. If you choose to go by helicopter, it is much more expensive at around $300 per adult, but is not subject to rough weather at sea. Although, they stay around 150 metres above water so you won’t be able to see the whales up close. 2. Fur Seal colony – There are multiple spots across the town, the most popular being Ohau Point, where you can see hundreds of seals laying around on the rocks and basking in the sun. You can get close enough to click some amazing photos of the seals! 3. Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway – You can stroll around on the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway and take in the sun and the sea while looking at the beautiful coastal birds. It provides a fantastic view of the peninsula, and you can even spot a few seals along your way!

Who Should be Going

Watching majestic ocean creatures is something that everyone will enjoy, no matter what age or interest. However, people who are prone to seasickness should take adequate precaution before heading out on the boat that takes you whale watching.

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FAQs on Kaikoura

What is famous about Kaikoura?

The rate of spotting whales and dolphins at Kaikoura is almost one hundred percent. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get to see the majestic blue whale – the biggest mammal on the planet! Moreover, you can spot whales at any time of the year!

What is not so good about Kaikoura?

It does rain here, sometimes out of season, and boats and whale watching tours don’t go out into the sea. You also need to book your tour well in advance, especially during the summer, as it gets really crowded.

What is the best time to visit Kaikoura?

Although dolphins can be spotted year-round here, there are two main whale and dolphin spotting tours are either from May to October, when the most number of migrating whales are spotted or during spring/summer when blue whales and orcas can be seen. The most rainfall occurs from March to August, and many whale and dolphin tours get cancelled during this time.
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What are the places near Kaikoura?

The top places near to Kaikoura are Auckland which is 624 km from Kaikoura, Akaroa which is located 166 km from Kaikoura, Wellington which is located 153 km from Kaikoura, Queenstown which is located 498 km from Kaikoura, Gisborne which is located 554 km from Kaikoura

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