Visit Kaikoura, in New Zealand's Canterbury
region, to see where the Southern Alps meet the sea. Along the peninsula, you'll observe the remains of Maori settlements from as long as 900 years ago! After European settlers arrived, the area was known for its whaling stations, but in the mid-1800s, most of the locals eventually turned to agricultural farming instead. Nowadays, the area is best known for its conservation efforts, saving the creatures that it once hunted to near-extinction. Stay with us in one of our Kaikoura hotels, which will allow you to take advantage of amazing marine life like whales and fur seals. You can even dive into the ocean and swim with dusky dolphins.
Things to Do
Go whale watching anytime of the year and see if you can spot a Sperm Whale, Pilot Whale or Orca. If you'd like to see some cute seals playing in the shallow waters, take the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. It's about an hour and a half, one way, to the seal colony and you'll pass some impressive limestone formations and seabird colonies on the way, too. If you really love hiking, take the Mt Fyffe track, which gives a beautiful panoramic view of Kaikoura, from the top. After taking in the view, make sure you stop off at Fyffe House, one of the local colonial whalers' cottages that's managed to survive since the 1860s. It's the oldest building in Kaikoura and its foundation is actually built upon whalebones, giving some interesting insight into the whaling industry of a bygone era.
On the first Saturday of October, Canterbury locals flock to Kaikoura for the annual Seafest. During the event, you'll enjoy live entertainment and plenty of local cuisine, especially crayfish. In fact, the Maori name "Kaikoura" translates to "meal of crayfish", so make sure you tuck into at least one plate of this local delicacy while you're here.
Getting Here and Around
is about two hours away and there are regular bus and train services from Christchurch
to Kaikoura. If you don't want to hire a car to get around town, there's a local sightseeing shuttle bus service that can take you to the most popular tourist attractions and, of course, drop you off at the boat for a whale-watching tour. If you'd like to explore some of the nearby regions, why not stop in at the thermal pools of Hanmer Springs
or head to the Marlborough
wine region? Two hours north of Kaikoura is Picton
, the gateway to exploring the North Island
So wot are you waiting for? Check out these cheap flights to Christchurch
and book your Kaikoura accommodation with us today!