Huge whales can be seen in front of the rough coast
So you want to see Moby Dick and friends? Well, you have certainly come to the right spot. Kaikoura is a place that is not only aesthetically stunning but one that has some of the best sea creatures in the world. They are all here: Moby, Flipper, Keiko, Jaws – you might even bump into Marine Boy having a beer in the local boozer or a mermaid on the bus. Okay, not quite. But for the wildlife enthusiast the Kaikoura Coast is second only to the Otago Peninsula for richness and accessibility to some of New Zealand’s biggest and most famous wildlife icons. This is due to the topography and depth of the ocean floor: just south of Kaikoura, a trough comes unusually close to the coastline creating an upsurge of nutritious plankton soup, giving rise to the many creatures with which we are more familiar further up the food chain. At the very top of course, on the ocean throne, is the majestic and much victimized king of them all – the whale.
But even if you came to Kaikoura thinking that whales was a small and fine rugby-playing nation somewhere in Britain, or indeed that seals clap and throw beach balls to each other, you cannot fail to be impressed. From the azure waters that surround the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula, backed by the snow-capped peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges, you can get up close and personal with them all, from whales and dolphins to seals, albatrosses and even sharks. So the place is very special and even before you arrive there is a sense of excitement.