8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must-include destination in your South Island Roundtrip

Brilliant Rentals - 8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination in your South Island Roundtrip

Kaikoura is a small seaside town located 2.5 hours drive north of Christchurch.

Kaikoura is renowned for its stunning marine life along its picturesque coastline, hosting whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, and a variety of aquatic bird species.

In Kaikoura, you experience the feeling of seeing the majestic Southern Alps meeting the shorelines of the vast Pacific Ocean. The views are epic and there is so much to see and do. And if you are a foodie, Kaikoura is a seafood heaven that you will never forget!

Here are our tips on what to do and see and where to stay!

 

1. Dolphin Encounter

Brilliant Rentals - 8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination in your South Island Roundtrip

For almost three decades, Dolphin Encounter has been providing people worldwide with unforgettable experiences of swimming with dolphins. In Kaikoura, it stands as New Zealand’s pioneer in offering this unique opportunity.

 

Time to allow: 3-4 hours, tours depart daily morning and afternoon

Location: 96 Esplanade, Kaikoura

 

2. Whale Watch

Brilliant Rentals - 8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination in your South Island Roundtrip

Each Whale Watch tour offers a distinctive experience, and the sightings are diverse. The majestic Giant Sperm Whales take center stage. In addition to these Sperm Whales, up to 14 other species of whales and dolphins migrate through these waters at different times of the year, enhancing the richness of the marine spectacle.

 

Time to allow: 3-4 hours, tours depart daily morning and afternoon

Location: Whaleway Station Road, Kaikoura

 

3. Nin’s Bin

Brilliant Rentals - 8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination in your South Island Roundtrip

Nin’s Bin is a family-owned and operated food stall that has been serving since 1977. Specialising in fresh and local crayfish, it has become a beloved establishment known for its commitment to quality seafood.

 

Time to allow: around one hour, open 9 am – 6 pm

Location: State Highway 1, 6, Kaikoura

 

4. Fishing Tours

8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination is your South Island Roundtrip - Fishing Tours

Kaikoura Fishing Tours are renowned as one of the best in the South Island. While you catch your dinner, enjoy the breathtaking views of the Kaikoura and be entertained by the playful aerobatics of the Dusky dolphins.

Upon return to the port, some crayfish pots would be lifted, allowing you to savor the finest seafood Kaikoura has to offer, including the delectable Kaikoura crayfish.

 

Time to allow: tours are 2, 3, or 4 hours in duration, the best time to do it is in the morning

Location: all fishing tours depart from South Bay Marina, Kaikoura

 

5. Kaikoura Peninsula Scenic Lookout

Brilliant Rentals - 8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination in your South Island Roundtrip

The Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway is known for its breathtaking ocean vistas, abundant marine wildlife, and convenient proximity to the Kaikoura town centre. Classified as a walking track, it offers an ideal outing for families, presenting an easily manageable, yet fulfilling, half- or full-day excursion.

 

Time to allow: 1-2 hours depending on your fitness, it’s an uphill walk, but the views are well worth it!

Location: Point Kean Car Park, Kaikoura

 
 

6. Sudima Kaikoura

8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination is  your South Island Roundtrip - Sudima Kaikoura

Do you want to see the sun rise above the ocean from your hotel bed? Sudima Kaikoura is the place to stay! The elegant hotel showcases meticulously designed rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a fitness center, and conference facilities. Sudima Kaikōura embodies 4.5-star sophistication, comfort, and affordability. Its location serves as an ideal starting point to explore Kaikōura’s globally acclaimed natural wonders.

 

Time to allow: we recommend a minimum of 1-night stay, and ideally 2-3 nights

Location: 114 Esplanade, Kaikoura

 
 

7. Night Sky and Pure Pods

8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination is your South Island Roundtrip - Night Sky and Pure Pods

Pure Pods are a genius concept of connecting you with nature by allowing you to see and feel it in your privacy with uninterrupted views. Kaikoura is home to 2 Pure Pods –  the Manakau PurePod and Kahutara Pure Pod.

 

The Manakau PurePod is a glass eco-cabin situated in a vast landscape with perfect views of the mighty Seaward Kaikōura Mountain Range (including Mt Manakau). It is nestled amid rolling hills and stunning rocky outcrops, enjoy breathtaking vistas of the history. The Kahutara PurePod is perched high above the Kahutara River with vast views across to the mighty Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Range. Immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the New Zealand landscape, and witness the unlimited stars in the night sky.

 

Time to allow: we recommend a minimum of 1-night stay

Location: 20 minutes inland from Kaikoura township

 
 

8. EcoZip Kaikoura

8 reasons why Kaikoura is a must include destination is your South Island Roundtrip - Whale Watch - EcoZip Kaikoura

Have you ever experienced a zipline tour where you fly high above the ground and see the most epic views? EcoZip Kaikoura will take you to the new heights! Experience Kaikoura like you’ve never seen it before. Five, epic ziplines, ranging from 250m to 610m in length await. All up, you’ll ‘zip’ over 2.2km on a series of ziplines that deliver increasingly spectacular sea and mountain views. And their twin lines make this side-by-side adventure an exhilarating, shared experience.

 

Time to allow: 4 hours, tours are departing throughout the day

Location: EcoZip Homebase, 11 West End, Kaikōura

 
 
Photos credits to Kaikoura NZ and EcoZip
 
 
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