15 November 2016 - Important Travel Advisory
The coastal township of Kaikoura has been badly impacted by the 14 November 2016 earthquake. Currently there is no access in/out of the township with all major access roads closed due to slips. At this stage, it is not known when Kaikoura will reopen. Please check with your travel provider to make alternative travel arrangements. Please note: the rest of the Christchurch & Canterbury region is open and unaffected. Find out more.
This is a place like nowhere else in the world - where mountains spectacularly meet the sea, magnificent wildlife is plentiful, and exciting adventures and fascinating history await you.
Just 2.5 hours' drive from Christchurch, you'll find Kaikoura - New Zealand's leading eco-tourism destination, with an amazing variety of marine and birdlife along its dramatic rugged coastline. Sperm whales are perhaps the most famous residents here, living with dusky dolphins, fur seals and albatross. There's something captivating to see year round, with migrating species making themselves known through changes in seasons. Check them out by hopping in a boat, plane or helicopter, or for a much closer encounter, swim alongside seals and dolphins.
Explore the region
There are so many ways to get out and enjoy this stunning area – whether you’re after a relaxing pursuit or something that whitens the knuckles. Head out quad biking, river rafting, or shoot downhill on the mountain luge. Check out the coastal environs by kayak, ride the waves at one of the great surf spots here, or try your luck on a fishing tour. Roam through the countryside on horseback, or pedal around on a bike completely at your own pace. Walks range from short trails to multi-day hikes. Test your limits and get some limitless views with a sky dive, or piloting your own plane.
This district also has a captivating history. You can still see intriguing remnants of the Māori and European settlement of the area. Visit Kaikoura Museum or historic Fyffe House to find out about Kaikoura's whaling history. Interactive tours let you experience Kaikoura's rich Māori history and culture first hand.
Folks here are justifiably proud of their beautiful environment, and they're committed to preserving and protecting it for the enjoyment of many generations to come. They've worked hard to become Green Globe 21 Certified – showing an on-going commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental impacts in this special place. Alongside other green initiatives, the community also has Earthcheck certification, measuring the effect each person in Kaikoura has on the environment, to best manage its protection.
You must sample some of nature's ocean larder while you're here. Crayfish is a local speciality – enjoy it at a roadside stall, an iconic beachside caravan, or in one of the township's stylish restaurants. Try dining Kiwi-style with piping hot fish and chips by the sea and be sure to include an award-winning local vintage alongside your seafood spread.