Kaikoura is a beautiful costal town located between Christchurch and Picton. One of the best things about Kaikoura is the unique marine wildlife that resides there year round including whales, dolphins, seals and seabirds. Many of the eco-tourism operators based out of the area offer a unique experience to encounter these animals in their natural environments, including seal swimming, dolphin swimming and whale watching tours.
Ohau Point seal colony is a unique spot where baby seals pups can be seen under a waterfall and swimming in the stream. It is free to go there and is a must see if you are in Kaikoura. Take the Ohau Stream and Waterfall walk to get to the pools to see the cute seal pups at the Ohau Point waterfall.
Alternatively, take a swim with them on a guided seal swimming tour in the gorgeous little bays of the Kaikoura Peninsula. Tours are operated by a local family that grown up in the area since childhood. This is also an experience not to be missed. Tours cater to all experience levels so if you’re feeling a little timid you can always just hang out with your guide on a large float board that they provide. If you need more convincing check out the amazing footage this short video – ‘Seal swimming in Kaikoura’.
A dolphin swimming tour in Kaikoura is a truly amazing experience to see the dusky dolphins in the wild. The dolphins get very close to you and can be very playful as you snorkel around with the pod. The number of dolphins that are in a pod can vary from 50 to the upwards of 2000 depending on the time of year and tour conditions.
Sperm whales are year round residents that frequent the waters of Kaikoura. At certain times of the year humpback and blue whales may be seen as well as ocra whales. The whales can be viewed by boat or plane tours and the types of whales seen on the tours will be dependent on the time of year.
Kaikoura is a spectacular coastal town filled with some of the best marine wildlife in New Zealand, and a destination that is not to be missed while in New Zealand.