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Kaikoura is the apple of marine wildlife enthusiasts and travelers' eyes, who want nothing more than getting closer to nature at large. This South Island town in New Zealand has plenty to offer to a visitor, both inland and on the sea, including the fascinating albatross cruise and whale watching. There are very few places in the world that can claim to possess the natural wonders seen on land and in the sea at Kaikoura.
Location: New Zealand
Nearest airport: Christchurch
How to reach: from Christchurch by road
Famous for: Whale watching, Dolphins, Seal colonies, Albatross
Months open: All year
Best time to Visit: mid-Nov to March
Whale-watching, Dolphin encounters,
The Point Kean seal colony, Mountain-biking Mt Fyffe Summit,
Catching crayfish, Sea kayaking,
The Lavendyl Lavender Farm, Kaikoura Museum,
The Point Sheep Shearing
Kaikoura is a destination for any season with some activity for everyone. Be it walking on the shores, adrenaline-inducing activities, or drinking in the scenic beauty, Kaikoura has plenty of things for a visitor to see and do on land, by sea, or in the air.
Some of the options for activities here include watching sea birds like albatross, whales, dolphins, and other marine life by land, flight, and boat. guests also have the option of observing seals and dolphins in their ocean environment with the availability of wet suits here. At Kaikoura, one can experience the best reef diving in New Zealand, aside from exploring the ruggedly beautiful peninsula via kayaking. With renowned fishing grounds, a local fishing tour is yet another option.
For those who prefer the land, working beef quad biking and sheep farm offer some exhilarating experience. The beautiful lavender farm is yet another option along with checking out the many mountain bikes, walking tracks, and exploring Kaikoura's history at Fyffe House and the museum.
Whale watching is one of the must-do activities at Kaikoura, aside fromalbatross cruises. For, the town is known as one of the best places to sight the massive sperm whales as they migrate to Antarctic waters. These whales can be seen on the shores during most of the years. Aside from sperm whales, hunchback, pilot, blue, and southern right whales are some of the others who engage in migration.
Dolphin encounters are the next best thing afteralbatross cruise and whale-watching. guests can hop on a boat and plunge into the ocean after grabbing a snorkel, thereby swimming with the friendly marine creatures.
The Point Kean seal colony
At the Point Kean, guests stand the chance of spotting the native fur seals and their pups. A short walk further from Point Kean viewpoint will take one to a place where several kinds of wildlife cohabiting peacefully. At the viewpoint, one can spot the wading birds and penguins.
Mountain-biking Mt Fyffe Summit
The Kaikoura Range and Mt. Fyffe dominates the Kaikoura skyline and offers some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails. The steep slope of the trails are not for an unfit cyclist, but an experienced one can reach the summit in half the time it would take the hikers. This activity is for those who wish for more adrenaline-pumping than provided by thealbatross cruise.
This activity is for guests with a penchant for fishing. The name Kaikoura literally translates to "eat crayfish," where kai means food, and Koura is the Maori name for crayfish species. Join a local fishing charter to catch crayfish dinner or for the catch-and-let-go experience.
Sea Kayaking is a great option at Kaikoura for those wishing to explore the local coastline from a different perspective. guests can either go on a guided tour or rent the equipment and set out by themselves. This is the perfect choice for guests who didn't have enough of the sea after thealbatross cruise.
The Lavender Farm
The Lavender Farm is for those who love their essential oils and native plants. A stroll along the colorful garden is soothing and has an unwinding effect, especially when coupled with some tea. At the local tearoom, you can find a suitable souvenir of your trip. The Farm has a cottage for those interested in a weekend retreat here.
Kaikoura Museum, with its giant contemporary building, resembling a giant clay pot, and modern interiors and a heritage-rich collection, is a study in contrasts. The museum is home to a natural history exhibit, more than 40,000 photogenic portraits, unique trinkets, and an impressive Maori artifacts collection, all of which are permanent exhibits.
The point sheep shearing
The sheep shearing demonstrations at Point Bed & Breakfast is perfect for families as the activity is suitable for all ages. During demonstrations, guests learn about the shearing equipment, wool type, and sheep breeds on show. Between August and January, guests can also feed and cuddle the little lambs.
Where to stay
The Factory is the ultimate 5-star luxury hotel in Kaikoura. A stay at this beachfront hotel is exclusive as it books only one 6-person party at a time. Located just 10 km north of Kaikoura, The Factory is close to most of the city's attractions including thealbatross cruise.
Kaikoura Boutique Hotel
Located at Kajkoura's waterfront, Kaikoura Boutique Hotel offers a splendid combination of style and comfort with cozy rooms and service and out-there and elegant interiors. This enchanting hotel with its setting is a popular choice among honeymooners.