Kaikoura is back following the 2016 earthquake, with lots to offer Encounter Kaikoura is the perfect place to start.
If you haven’t visited Kaikoura in a while, it is probably time to head up the road and see why it is regarded as such a special place and popular with so many visitors who travel here. Set in a stunning coastal environment flanked by the grandeur of a rugged mountain range, Kaikoura provides some very unique experiences.
From fresh seafood including locally caught crayfish, which Kaikoura is famous for, an array of marine mammals which you will not find in any other location in New Zealand as well as an incredible diversity of seabirds, Kaikoura is a unique and exciting place for a relaxing and refreshing break with the family.
Encounter Kaikoura is the perfect place to drop in for a coffee and some delicious freshly prepared food seven days a week. The outdoor courtyard has plenty of space for the children to enjoy and there is also room for the dog!
Open for breakfast and lunch and adjacent to the gift shop with an eclectic array of selected giftware and clothing brands, the beachfront location on the Esplanade has plenty of free parking too, making it an easy stopping place.
Tours to both the dolphins and the albatross also depart from this point. The Dolphin Encounter tour is very inspiring with either swimming or watching options to see the dusky dolphins found in pods all year round along the coast. The dusky dolphins are the most acrobatic of the dolphin species and seeing their energised displays of brilliance first hand should not be missed.
The Albatross Encounter tour is a shorter tour and is well suited to family groups who may want to take a quick look at the amazing array of majestic albatross found quite close to shore. At just two-and-a-half hours in duration this tour can easily fit into a morning or afternoon even if time is short.
Kia ora from Kaikoura and we hope to have you visit soon!
Experience Kaikoura’s Magic
The Kaikoura District contains some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery with a mix of stunning coastline, dramatic peninsula, and some of the South Island’s highest mountains. Kaikoura is the most northern district in the Canterbury region located on the east coast of the South Island. It is a two-and-a-half hour drive north from Christchurch and a two-hour drive south from Picton. A unique ocean environment provides a home to an astonishing variety of marine life. Kaikoura is New Zealand’s leading eco-tourism destination with marine-based operators, cultural experiences and historic attractions along with a mix of both relaxing and exhilarating land-based activities.
Kaikoura’s coastal waters are home to an amazing array of marine mammals and birdlife. Perhaps the most famous residents that can be seen on virtually a daily basis are sperm whales who share this part of the Pacific Ocean with dusky dolphins, fur seals, and albatross – to name but a few. As well as these residents who can be viewed year-round, migrating species such as the rare Hector’s dolphins, humpback whales, and orca are frequent visitors. You can experience this marine life from a boat, plane or helicopter. If you want to get even closer, you can swim with the dolphins in their ocean playground. Explore some of Kaikoura’s excellent dive sites and surf breaks or take time to discover the coast by kayak.
Back on dry land, you will discover that Kaikoura offers a fantastic range of activities ranging from the energetic to the relaxing – including mountain biking, quad biking, horse-trekking, Māori cultural tour, and an art trail. Take a scenic flight by helicopter or plane for some of the best views in Aotearoa.
If you enjoy walking, you will find plenty of options ranging from short strolls to more adventurous tramping. The peninsula walkway is a stunning circular walk providing some of the best views of the ocean, mountains, and township.
Kaikoura has a wide range of accommodation from budget to luxury – backpackers, motels, self-catering options, B&Bs, lodges and campgrounds. Accommodation is located throughout the district – centre of town, out in the countryside or right beside the sea.