Kaikoura New Zealand Lifestyle, Activities and Atrractions

Nature’s playground, Kaikoura, New Zealand, offers something for everyone!

There are many coastal, riverbed or mountain tracks in the area and a very active 4x4 group.

Coastal rock outcrops and some inland rock faces make ideal rock climbing and abseiling sites.

Art & Craft Galleries
Visit local artists that are recognised throughout New Zealand and internationally for their high standard of creativity and design.

Bird Watching
A large variety of bird life can be found around Kaikoura, some species of which are very rare. Bird life can be viewed during a casual walk along the shore or in the surrounding countryside. Guided trips are also available to view the more inaccessible ocean, land and lake birds.

Formed many thousands of years ago by the sea, one cave has some fine examples of the rare straw stalactites.

Canoeing & Sea Kayaking
The bays around the peninsula offer many interesting places to explore. You can’t get closer to the marine life of Kaikoura’s coastline.

Snorkel or Scuba dive the picturesque waters of Kaikoura’s coastline or Peninsula. Dive sites vary from shallow waters to over 30 metres with crayfish and many species of fish everywhere. Guided dives, tuition and gear hire available.

Dolphin Swimming
Dolphin swimming trips allow you to see and swim with the playful wild Dusky Dolphins in the natural state of their own environment. A truly awesome and emotional experience.

Surf cast from the many miles of beaches on the coastline or simply dangle a line from the wharf or rocks. With deep oceanic currents pushing food close inshore there is a large variety of fish to be caught. World records have been broken in the area. Boast can be chartered to go after the big ones!

Farm Tours
Spend time on a farm and see sheep dogs in action, sheep shearing & wool handling demonstrations, cattle, deer etc. The true rural New Zealand.

Four Wheeler Safaris
Experienced operators offer four wheeler motorbike, coastal or mountain safaris.

Learn to fly with the Aero Club’s highly qualified instructors.

Fyffe House
One of the first European buildings in Kaikoura and started in 1860, Fyffe House still stands on it’s whale bone piles. Visitors are welcome.

Garden Tours
There are many gardens worthy of a visit in the area.

A pleasant few hours can be spend on an excellent 18-hole golf course situated alongside State Highway 1, just south of Kaikoura.

Hang Gliding & Parapenting
The hills and mountains in the surrounding district provide updrafts for all levels of experience.

Horse Treks
There are a variety of horse treks, ranging from seashore to farmland, lake shore and bushy hill country to choose from.

Hunters can find Red Deer, Chamois, Pigs, Possums and Goats in the mountains. Permits must be obtained from the Department of Conservation. Guided safaris are also available.

Keep Fit
Walk one of the many tracks around the Peninsula or visit the local gym to burn off some of that fine food and drink.

Maori Culture
Maori have lived on this coastline for more than 900 years and their history is rich. Descendants of those first inhabitants still reside here today with a living and vibrant culture. A guided tour is the best way to learn more.

Mini Golf
There is a unique and challenging mini golf course.

Mountain Biking
Kaikoura is a mountain biker’s paradise. Beginners can ride up the scenic Puhi Puhi and Blueduck Valleys while the more adventurous may tackle rides like Mount Fyffe or the Kahutara Saddle into the Clarence Valley. There are new mountain bike trails and tracks in the Waimangaroa Reserve off Topline Road.

Museum & Archives
A wealth of information on subjects ranging from early Maori settlement to recent events. Displays are varied and interesting with items such as the deck cabin off a wrecked ship and an old jailhouse, Maori artefacts and whaling relics.

Rafting and Canoeing
The Clarence River’s dramatic mountain scenery makes an awesome backdrop for a good fun rafting experience. Trips range from a couple of hours to three or four days.

Kaikoura is a popular port for visiting and local yachts alike with great views of the sea, mountains and bird life while cruising the coastline.

Scenic Flights
Awesome views of scenery ranging from the township and coastal panoramas to the spectacular sights of the often snow covered mountains from nearly 3000 metres. Scenic and/or whale watching trips can be the ultimate flight of a lifetime. See another side of Kaikoura.

Seal Swimming
Experience the thrill and excitement of snorkelling or scuba diving with the inquisitive and playful New Zealand Fur Seals. Close encounters and interaction with wild animals in their own environment has to be experienced to be believed. Boat and shore based trips with guides and equipment supplied are available.

Skate Boarding
There is an excellent facility for skateboarders on the foreshore opposite the tennis courts.

Mount Lyford ski field with good facilities is located not far from Kaikoura on the Inland Road to Hanmer Springs.

Good surf can be found at spot like Mangamaunu, the ‘Meatworks’ and the Kahutara River mouth.

Whale & Dolphin Watching
Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world for watching Whales, Dolphins and Seals due to their close proximity to the shore and the fact that they can be seen all year round. Whale watching can be done by boat, helicopter or plane.

Wind Surfing
Popular spots are by the race course in South Bay and Gooches Bay on the north side of the Peninsula.