Home to a unique ocean environment with an astonishing variety of marine life including whales, dolphins, seals and albatross, Kaikoura provides an unforgettable location to experience eco-tourism at its best.
Within the Kaikoura District, you will find some of the most breath-taking scenery in the country with a stunning coastline, a dramatic peninsula and some of the South Island’s highest mountains close to the ocean.
Whale watching runs year round by boat, plane or helicopter. Here, you can observe the majestic Sperm Whale breach for air then flick its tail before returning to the depths. Swim the open ocean with dusky dolphins in their natural habitat or watch from the comfort of the boat. Snorkel and swim with wild New Zealand fur seals. Marvel over the diversity of seabirds, including up to 13 species of albatross. Experience the fun of deep sea fishing in abundant waters. From one hour trips to full day charters, all gear is provided and you can be as involved as you like. Paddle around the Kaikoura Peninsular with experienced guides. These eco-friendly tours include chance encounters with seals and dolphins, and a lot of good fun.
Kaikoura boasts an array of coastal and alpine walks varying from half an hour to three days. The stunning Peninsula Walkway starts at a natural seal colony at Point Kean and offers amazing views on a well-maintained track with interpretation panels on the way. Mount Fyffe summit reaches 1602m above sea level, boasting panoramic vistas and is an approx. eight hours return trip from the car park. Mountain biking is also an excellent way to explore the beauty of Kaikoura. A single track and gravel road runs from Kaikoura to the Mount Fyffe car park through pine forests and along riverbanks. The trail is well signposted – keep an eye out for the Kaikoura Cycling Club bike symbol for direction.
Kaikoura District Council | Ph:
About 48 Hours
Photo credit: Nokome Bentley. The winning image in the 48 Hours in Kaikoura Amateur category
About 48 Hours
Few places, if any, in the world can equal the splendour of the natural wonders of Kaikoura. Majestic Kaikoura ranges descend into the Pacific Ocean with its wealth of abundant marine life. Kaikoura Township has dramatically changed and prospered in the past few years – driven mainly by the increase in international tourism since 1988. Progress is important but it must be well considered and with close attention to the history of the land and the needs of the people and the environment.
The aim of the “48 hours in Kaikoura” exhibition was to have those who know and love Kaikoura best to capture its complexity, diversity and beauty on film. 48 Hours wants people to rediscover their environment, to give them the chance to dream a little, break out of their everyday routine, stretch the mind and muscle and open their eyes to the natural beauty that Kaikoura has to offer. The resulting collection of images celebrates their endeavours and commitment to this challenging assignment.
Weather is a ‘constant’ in the daily lives of Kaikoura people. In 48 hours the region can experience huge climatic changes and the images taken over the “48 hour weekend” held annually in July or August, often demonstrate this dramatically. A day that began with glorious sunshine and a calm sea can change to a black sky and a furious sea by lunch time. Just as you acclimatise yourself to the pounding southerly storm it spends itself out and by late evening the weather is calm again.
It is absolutely essential that this unique marine and coastal region is protected and enhanced for posterity. 48 Hours hopes that everyone from the photographers to those just looking at the exhibition will in some way be enthused to help make even a small difference to the future of our region. Kaikoura will be captured as it is but it is history in the making as already some of those images will no longer be as they were on the day.
Enjoy your journey.