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Kaikoura – Neptune’s playground

Kaikoura means 'meal of crayfish', reflecting the abundance and importance of seafood that Maori harvested there.

Situated about 2 hours north of Christchurch, Kaikoura is one of the best places in New Zealand to eat seafood, and certainly the best place to see whales.

It is without doubt the place to see the gorgeous sperm whales, combined with good opportunities to swim with dusky dolphins as well as to view seals and pelagic birds in their natural habitat.

Don’t miss:

Whale Watching

Whale watching in New Zealand really brings one word to mind: Kaikoura.

The unique geography of the Kaikoura area provides a perfect environment for whales, dolphins and other rare species. Sperm whales are the most common and visible species, and you are almost guaranteed to see one at anytime of the year.

Orcas are often seen too, feeding on the large pods of dusky and common dolphins that are resident all year. Dolphins are also a major draw at Kaikoura, and this is one of the best places in the world to “swim with dolphins”.

Hanmer Springs – Thermal village

Not far from Kaikoura is the scenic alpine and thermal village of Hanmer Springs.

Since 1859 this spa town has attracted visitors seeking to relax, unwind and ease their aches and pains in the soothing mineral waters.

Cliff Top Walk

Discover the natural rugged beauty of the Kaikoura Peninsula and take a walk from Peninsula Car Park to South Bay following the limestone cliff top route.

Throughout the walk you will have the opportunity to spot a wide range of Kaikoura's wonderful wild life...everything from fur seals to native birds.

The peninsula is very exposed, so be prepared with warm, windproof clothing.


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