If you planning to visit New Zealand and want to get ‘up close and personal’ with nature, ensure a few days are spent exploring beautiful Kaikoura.
There is plenty to see due to the large amount of marine life found just off shore, which is owing to the unique continent shelf and ocean currents. Here are 5 top ideas for exploring the Kaikoura region.
Whale watching is famous NZ attraction in Kaikoura and attracts thousands every year, hop on board a purpose built ‘Whale Watch’ catamaran and head out for an experience of a lifetime!
From the moment you set off there are a variety of whales and dolphins to be seen, as well as an abundance of other marine life.
The star of the show is definitely the giant sperm whales which the tour guides have fondly nicknamed. A truly magical event, so be sure to bring your camera.
The staff are helpful and provide plenty of information on sea currents, the landscape and marine life. They are also particularly helpful for those who aren’t as ‘in touch’ with their ‘sea legs’ as they may have hoped.
Whale Watch Kaikoura also boasts a 95% success rate of seeing a whale and if you don’t they happily refund 80% of your ticket price.
Kaikoura wilderness walk
This wilderness walk is like no other, choose from 1-3 day stays, which includes accommodation at the Shearwater Lodge for the night as well as unique kiwi cuisine.
The hikes themselves aren’t too difficult with plenty of stops and an average walking distance of only 9km spread over the 6 - 7.5 hours each day.
An average level of fitness is needed and there are only a few ‘steep’ parts on the journey. The scenery in the Puhi Peaks Nature Reserve is just astounding and the tour guides provide lots of neat facts about the region too.
Kaikoura is visited by a huge variety of pelagic birds including 12 different species of albatross, yellow eyed and little blue penguins, shearwaters, petrel and too many more to name.
Hop on board a small vessel where you will head out to sea with buckets of fish bits in hope of attracting sea birds. The skippers know the area and bird species well so getting up close is never a problem - although I’m sure the fish bits help the situation!
Take a break from the subdued nature of the wildlife encounters and gear up for an extreme adrenaline rush with a tandem skydive over Kaikoura’s picturesque landscape.
Once in the air the views are absolutely jaw-dropping, with stunning mountains to one side and the ocean peninsula of Kaikoura on the other.
Skydive Kaikoura offers the most personal skydiving experience in New Zealand with Henk and Sarah really going out of their way to ensure you are as comfortable and informed about the skydive as possible.
They are supportive from start to finish and understand the varying confidence levels between visitors. You are guaranteed to have an awesome experience with Skydive Kaikoura.
Seal Kayaking tour
Seal kayaking is absolutely amazing and the trip offers excellent value for money. Everything you need is provided as well as a full safety run down before the tour commences, helpful for those feeling reserved about kayaking in the ocean.
Once the formalities are aside you hop into a kayak and paddle out into the Kaikoura Peninsula with your group.
The first thing you see is NZ fur seals bathing on the rocks and as you paddle closer watch as they swim about looking for dinner.
You will also see many different species of birds and friendly dolphins. The tours operate all year round and are suitable for all ages, definitely give it a go.
For more information contact Whale Watch Kaikoura.