New Zealand is made up of gorgeous rolling hills, natural hot springs, awe-inspiring mountains and a lot of lovely coastline. In fact, no matter where you are in the country, you’re never more than 79 miles from the ocean! The scenery and lush landscape are breathtaking and often the reason people travel to the country. But in New Zealand, there is just as much life brimming under the sea!
Kaikoura, which is a Maori word for “meal of crayfish”, is home to some of the most diverse marine life on the island. In fact, it is considered to be one of the world’s best whale watching locations in the southern Hemisphere. Large male Sperm Whales feed just off the coast and the unique geographic make up allows Kaikoura to host these majestic residents.
There is a ten thousand foot drop off in to the ocean just off the shore that has a pocket of cool ocean water where the whales reside. The large fish that live off the coast provide a great diet year round.
Thinking about visiting Kaikoura? The US summer months (June, July & August) are when the whales come much closer to shore.
This is also migration season for the Humpback Whales from Antarctica. They pass the coast of Kaikoura as they move towards warmer waters so there’s a high possibility of seeing the majestic creature during this time.
You may also spot a number of other whales including:
- Blue Whales
- Southern Right Whales
- Orca Whales
- Pilot Whales
What else is there to do in Kaikoura?
Not only is Kaikoura home to some of the most gorgeous and majestic whales, there’s a thriving marine life of a smaller size in the waters. Perhaps the most adorable are the New Zealand Fur Seals that make their home in Kaikoura.
Make Friends with the Seals
New Zealand Fur Seals are known for their sleepy nature, in fact, many who visit New Zealand might run into a seal or two snoozing off the coast line! They can often be quite the road block too, as seen in the below picture! It’s important to give seals the space and respect they deserve. They maybe cute, but can be dangerous to humans and dogs if they feel threatened.
Photo Credit: Jacanruss from Instagram
Though fur seals are usually pretty docile, they can scoot pretty quickly if they feel threatened or want to protect their pups. Luckily, if you’re hoping to get a good snapshot of these cuties, there’s a spot where you can see hundreds of seal pups tucked away just north of Kaikoura.
A Kiwi who lives in Kaikoura told us that every year these seal pups find their way from the ocean up to this waterfall and it becomes nature’s day care center for the pups. Even our Destination Specialists ensure us it’s something you won’t want to miss.
If you can handle the cuteness, check out this video below!
Want to swim with the seals? Why not ask your specialist about this Seal Swim Tour?
Meet the friendly dolphins
Dusky Dolphins have also been known to be found in the Kaikoura waters. They almost always try to steal the show when visitors are on whale watching tours.
There are estimated to be several hundred dusky dolphins in the waters of Kaikoura. They are fun, energetic animals that like to put on a good show. They can be seen splashing and jumping when visitors in boats & kayaks venture by.
Pods containing several hundred dolphins are said to call Kaikoura home. You’re able to swim with the dolphins, kayak alongside them or if you want to just sit back — you’re sure to see dolphins on a boat tour!
Check out a few of our favorite shots from travelers who explored the vibrant marine life of Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea!
Plus lots of other activities including..
- Maori Cultural Events
- Llama Trekking!
- Museums & Theatres
- Mountain Biking
- White Water Rafting
- Just to name a few…
Want to visit Kaikoura and see this gorgeous wildlife? Give us a call Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5:00pm Central US)!
Let us help you find the perfect time to take part in Kaikoura Whale Watching or maybe a swim with the dolphins. Our Destination Specialist would love to help plan your dream vacation.Tags: Kaikoura, New Zealand, Whale Watching, Wildlife