Kaikoura is best described as “where wildlife takes over civilisation”. On the shore of the Pacific Ocean, the small town is a year-round destination featuring some of the most memorable experiences that New Zealand has to offer. There’s a few things that come to mind when one mentions Kaikoura – sure, mountains, marine life and magic are a given, but there’s more to be said. With an abundance of hidden gems to discover, this rugged coastal town might very well be the South Island’s best kept secret
Whale Watch Kaikoura:
We all know whale sightings are of the rare variety, but in Kaikoura that’s certainly not the case. As New Zealand’s go to destination for all things marine life visitors have a 95% chance of spotting giant sperm whales, as well as dusky dolphins, orcas, humpback whales and everything in between. If you go sky high, a helicopter tour with South Pacific Helicopters gives you the chance to appreciate the size of the giant sperm whale from above, alongside panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and spectacular coastline.
Lavendyl lavender farm:
For a touch of luxury and sophistication, journey to Lavendyl Lavender Farm. Being just outside Kaikoura’s centre, it’s the perfect place to indulge your senses and treat your taste buds. If you’re here for the day, take a stroll through the stunning Lavender fields, relax in their quaint café or watch the distillation process to find out how Lavender oil is made.
Catch your own meal:
Kaikoura’s known as one of New Zealand’s best destinations for fishing, so if you’re a seasoned expert, or just like the sound of catching your own meal, sign up for a fishing trip with Kaikoura Fishing Charters. With several different tours to choose from, be it two, three or four hours, you can spend however long you wish at sea. Expect to walk away with some fresh catch and incredible memories – you might even spot a friendly dolphin.
If you’re willing to go off the beaten track, a stroll to Fyffe House could be a great way to get the legs moving. As the town’s oldest surviving building, this heritage home is full of archives and tales from the 1800’s. It’s also situated among some incredible landscapes – picture snow-capped mountains, lush forestry and Kaikoura’s dramatic coastline. The trip to Fyffe house is just a gentle 45-minute walk from the town’s centre, with an entry fee of $10.