Top Ten New Zealand Classic Adventures

View Marine Life at Kaikoura

Kaikoura is the Maori word for "meal of crayfish," and this so-named coastal town welcomes you with a huge orange model of New Zealand's favorite crustacean. Wedged between the Kaikoura Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura was a favored source of seafood for Maori people in pre-European times. Today it is also prized for its marine life, which includes whales, dolphins, and seals.

Popular marine-life-watching activities include swimming and scuba diving with acrobatic dolphins, riding waves to watch sperm whales as they surge and blow, and walking the coastline among fur seals sunbathing on the rocks.

Experienced walkers craving a bird's-eye view of Kaikoura can talk to the local Department of Conservation about climbing Mount Manakau, a beautiful peak overlooking the bay. It's a serious undertaking, with a long scramble up a river, but worth attempting if the weather is settled and you're feeling fit.


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