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Kaikoura (New Zealand)

Practical information on Kaikoura

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Viewpoint
  • River
  • Waterfall
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
1h 45 minutes from Christchurch by car
When to go
From June to September
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Kaikoura

Delphine Teisserenc Seasoned Traveller
46 written opinions

Kaikoura is a coastal town that is known for the diverse selection of marine mammals that can be seen there.

My suggestion:
During the winter period, nothing could be easier than watching seals and their abundant young. This is also the best time of year to watch whales.
My review

During my stay in New Zealand, I was lucky enough to have the chance to stop in Kaikoura on two occasions to view the colonies of seals that flock to shore here. The colonies are present all year round, but the animals are most numerous during the winter, allowing humans to approach very close.

A few kilometers north of Kaikura the baby seals put on a kind of show, splashing in Ohau Stream - it really is something that you have to see! When I first went there during the summer, the seal nursery was empty, but in the middle of winter, there dozens of these young animals had come to play in the pool.

As you follow the road that leads to the Kaikoura Peninsula, I suggest that you stop off at one of the roadside booths to enjoy locally-caught lobster, a local specialty and the pride of the region. Continuing along the same route, you reach a viewpoint that offers panoramic views over the coast, and, if you're lucky, also offers opportunities for whale watching.

To increase your chances of seeing whales, I recommend that you book a boat trip, because the massive mammals are difficult to see from land, despite their size! Unfortunately, however, I never got the chance to take a boat trip...

A seal in Kaikoura
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