Located approximately 180km north of Christchurch, on the Pacific Coast of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coastal area is unusual for Canterbury on that there is no large coastal plain. Instead, the mountains seemingly rise directly from the sea.
Extending out into the sea on the southern edge of the town, the Kaikoura Peninsula and the nearby Kaikoura Trench, itself an extension of the greater Hikurangi Trench System creates an upwelling of nutrient rich currents bringing an abundance of marine life from the nearby trench system, including Crayfish, and the whales for which the town is famous come to feed on this abundance. Kaikoura’s name comes from the Maori words “Kai” (food) and “Koura” (Crayfish)
Part of that which makes Kaikoura famous, is its marine life, and indeed it is that marine life that sparked the Whale hunting in the area, and contributes to the town’s very existence.
A wide variety of marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, seals, with Whale Watching proving extremely popular. On most whale watch tours its almost (but not quite) a guarantee that you’ll see at least one whale, often more. We’ve been out on trips where we’ve seen up to five different whales in one instance!
Other marine life to watch out for is birds, birds, and more birds. Examples include Albatross, Petrels, Penguins, Shearwaters, and the delicate Fairy Prion, to name just a few. A seabird mecca.
The tours we concentrate on here, are by no means the only tours that visit Kaikoura, but they certainly do concentrate on the area where our other tours that stop here are usually “on our way to somewhere else”
The two tours we concentrate on here, are our full day Kaikoura scenic tour, and our two days Kaikoura scenic tour