Whale & dolphin watching
Whale watching is one of those must-do life experiences. Kaikoura is the home of whale watching in New Zealand and there are many environmentally focused tourism operators in the area. Being rich in nutrients the Kaikoura coastal environment entices a wide range of marine animals to the area. These include Giant Sperm Whales which can be seen all year round. Seasonal species include Dusky Dolphins, Hectors Dolphin, Fur Seals and a wide variety of seabirds including the Royal Albatross.
Snorkelling with seals
One of Lonely Planet’s top choices for Kaikoura is to swim with NZ’s playful fur seals in the shallow waters of the Kaikoura Peninsula.
“It's one of those simple nature experiences that opens your mind to the sheer magnificence of our natural environment and its amazing inhabitants. A breath taking nature activity. You won’t believe how curious, friendly and playful New Zealand Fur Seals can be in the water.”
Keen to get out on the water and explore the Kaikoura Peninsula from the seat of a kayak? Kaikoura has some excellent options for kayaking and kayak fishing. There are operators in the area who take tours, provide kayak hire and kayaking lessons. Chances are you’ll see fur seals and dolphins just a few paddle strokes from the shore. Suitable for all ages and abilities, operating year round.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Although the Kaikoura Coast Track is closed from 1 May to 30 September if you’re in Kaikoura at this time head up to Mt Lyford for some skiing. Located 1hr and 20 mins drive from Kaikoura, Mt Lyford has terrain for all abilities. They provide hire equipment, lessons, cafe, tubing, shuttle, accommodation, terrain park, half-pipe and groomed slopes.
The Panorama Motel accommodation complex in Kaikoura can truly claim to have magnificent and largely uninterrupted sea and mountain views.
Situated just metres from the sea, each room boasts views that capture the majesty of the mountains, the ever-changing character of the sea, and frame some of the most stunning sunsets and sunrises you will ever see.