Mountains

NZ Bush Tip No. 8

Even if you are walking the main street of Kaikoura, always scan the ocean as you'll often spot a sperm whale, dolphins or an Orca.

 
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Kaikoura

Kaikoura – Kai (Maori for food) and Koura (Maori for crayfish) is tucked in its own dramatic bay, sheltered by a huge peninsula and surrounded by the massive Kaikoura Mountain Ranges.

Not only is it one of New Zealand's most picturesque areas, but it is also unique for its richness of wildlife – the Serengeti of the South Pacific!

The best wildlife viewing takes advantage of a huge sea trench that provides a fantastic diversity of marine life, from giant squid to its predator the sperm whale. There would never be enough time to experience the wealth of marine life and the largest number of pelagic (sea going) birds in the country.

Must experience:

  • Go whale watching for the massive, resident sperm whales and several other species that may be passing through
  • Swimming with dolphins should not be missed
  • An albatross encounter provides a fantastic experience with these huge ocean birds
  • Eat crayfish and chips on the beach while watching the sun set behind the mountains

Facts at a glance

  • Dusky dolphins are very gregarious and highly social, living in large pods from 100-800 at a time, and sometimes even in the 1000s.
  • Five species of the great albatross can be seen off Kaikoura: Wandering, Antipodean, Gibson's, Northern Royal and Southern Royal albatross.
  • Just offshore lies the 2000 m deep Kaikoura trench, supporting an abundance of sea creatures.
  • When hunting, sperm whales dive to great depths for over 45 minutes, and return to the exact entry spot.

Accommodation

Hapuku Lodge is situated in one of the most spectacular settings in New Zealand
Hapuku Lodge is situated in one of the most spectacular settings in New Zealand, nestled between the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range and famed Mangamaunu Bay

Nestled above native bush, with beautiful sea and mountain views, Bush & Sea Boutique B&B offers you high quality accommodation
Nestled above native bush, with beautiful sea and mountain views, Bush & Sea Boutique B&B offers you high quality accommodation in a stunning central setting that is relaxing, comfortable and private. Best of all, it is only minutes walk into Kaikoura's township where you can enjoy the busy café scene

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