Christchurch - Canterbury


  • Whale watching and marine encounters
  • Catch and eat crayfish
  • Enjoy a pristine night sky


  • by car:

    3 hr from Christchurch

The picturesque coastal town of Kaikōura is the perfect place for marine life encounters, coastal walks, and tucking into a plate of crayfish.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Kaikōura Dolphins , Christchurch - Canterbury

Kaikōura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds – it’s also a great place to eat crayfish(opens in new window) (in the Māori language 'kai' means food, 'kōura' means crayfish). An easy two-hour drive north of Christchurch, Kaikōura makes for a great day trip or a fun stop on your way to Marlborough.

Kaikōura's environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikōura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape.

Kaikōura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – 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.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

Must-do activities in Kaikōura

Functional facts:

Approximate population 3600, isite Visitor Centre, train station.

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