Kaikoura, Meaning “Eat Crayfish”

Kaikoura translates to “eat crayfish”, with the seaside town renowned for fresh seafood as well as it’s wildlife. Allow a couple of days (I’d recommend 3 nights minimum) if you want to see, experience and indulge in all that Kaikoura has to offer. Just be sure to pack some seasickness tablets if you are prone as most activities take place on the water.

Seal Colony

No where else, that I’m aware of, that one can walk among a seal colony. You can walk as far or as little as you’d like making it accessible for most. We had a little playful pup following us, can you spot him in the photos below?

Please stay the minimum distance away from the seals as they are wild animals (I had a zoom lens) and be aware that this is nature and you may encounter deceased seals.

Fishing Charter

This is a must do, in my eyes, for anyone who loves seafood. Our original charter fell through but they were kind enough to direct us to another charter which was amazing. All rods had electric reels, making it so easy, and the charter staff will bait and remove the fish if you don’t want to get your hands dirty; they also fillet any fish caught. The charters are all about keeping the fishery sustainable so please only keep what you are going to eat.

The views from the boat will keep those non-fisherman happy. The bird life is epic if you are into that.


Most people who visit Kaikoura for the whale watching tours; they also offer day trips from Christchurch. The tours are packed so book well ahead of time for your preferred day, but naturally mother nature may impact this.

From the surface the sperm whales don’t look like much, and unfortunately this is what you sit and watch for up to half an hour prior to them taking the dive.

But the dollar shot is the whale tail when they dive, and we were lucky enough to see three during our cruise. The third, and I think the best, is below.

In between the whales you can see dolphins and seals, so there is plenty to keep you’re eyes occupied if you ever get sick of the scenery.