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Discover the incredible marine wildlife and spectacular rugged coastline of Kaikoura.

The picturesque town of Kaikoura is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, between Christchurch and Picton.

Just a two and a half hour drive north of Christchurch, Kaikoura makes for a fantastic day trip or a lovely stop en-route to Marlborough.

Mount Fyffe and the  Seaward Kaikoura Range dominate the Kaikoura skyline and provide a dramatic backdrop to the town centre located on the east side of a peninsula extending out into the Pacific Ocean. 

This popular coastal town is renowned for its marine mammals and birdlife and it is regarded as the best place in New Zealand for spotting whales, dolphins and fur seals, plus seabirds including albatross, petrels and shearwaters.

Viewing marine life is the primary reason most people come to Kaikoura. Visitors can enjoy activities such as whale-watching by boat or air, sea kayaking, swimming with wild dusky dolphins in their natural habitat, and bird watching excursions to spot the many species of seabird that can be seen off the Kaikoura coastline.

There are also opportunities for hiking in the Kaikoura mountain ranges, or exploring the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway which is renowned for its spectacular ocean views, historic sites, marine wildlife, and easy access from the Kaikoura town centre.

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


Best times to visit Kaikoura

Most people visit Kaikoura to go whale watching and this is a year round activity with a chance of seeing different species of whales throughout the year. Male sperm whales can be seen off the Kaikoura coastline all year round as they feed upon the abundance of food in the nutrient rich waters of the Kaikoura Canyon. If you visit during the winter months from June to August you’ll not only have the opportunity to see sperm whales, but you’ll have a good chance of seeing migrating humpback whales too.

The weather in New Zealand is lovely from late spring until early autumn (from October to March) with temperatures between 16-19˚C in October-November, 20-25˚C from December to February and 17-21˚C in March. If you prefer warmer weather we recommend visiting during these months, and if you visit between November to February you might be lucky enough to spot pods of migratory orcas off the Kaikoura coastline.   

New Zealand's monthly weather chart

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


Accommodation in Kaikoura

Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses is set on a 1600 acre deer breeding farm, 12kms north of Kaikoura. Accommodation comprises of five spacious tree houses nestled 10 metres above the ground in the canopy of a Kanuka grove, plus four luxury suites within the main lodge, and the standalone Olive House which has three bedrooms. The lodge has an excellent restaurant - the specialty is locally caught crayfish, which is unsurprising given that Kaikoura means ‘eat crayfish’ in Maori.

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Find out more and tailor your perfect trip with the help of
our specialist team on +44 117 313 3300