Kaikoura, New Zealand
Kaikoura is nestled between the ocean and the Southern Alps, about half way between Christchurch and Picton*. A marine wonderland Kaikoura is famous for Whale Watching, but also has many other maritime attractions. One of Kaikoura’s best kept secrets is the number and variety of sea birds in the area, including the magnificent Albatross. At Kaikoura you can take a boat trip to view the birds in their natural environment. As well as swimming with the dolphins, there are also trips to swim with the playful and inquisitive NZ Fur Seals.
There is great hiking and walking in the region, as well as 4WD and Quad Bike trips available. Kaikoura has a long Maori history, and many artists and crafts people. Whilst staying in Kaikoura a meal of crayfish is not to be missed. After all the Maori name of Kaikoura was named after the cray fish – “kai” means “food” and “koura” means “crayfish” in Maori.
*Please note that due to the earthquake that happened in November 2016, the main coastal highway (SH1) along Kaikoura that links Christchurch and Picton has been closed for repair. Highway is expected to be completed sometime in 2018. Please read about the alternate route and updates here.