or take the 70
drive around the Kaikoura Ranges on the 70 to Waiau...80km, stunning Scenery and Countryside Towns
around 110km from Kaikoura to Culverden, small farming community with 2 fine Cafes.
then an other 70km to Christchurch. 70km to Waiau, make sure you get your Lunch at the Waiau Dairy. fresh Fish&Chips
buy water and some food, fruit maybe..and make sure you have enough Petrol..there are no supplies on the way. but that makes it so interesting with a touch of adventure
well backpack is good,duffelbag what ever takes your fancy and depends for ho long you'll stay in Kaikoura it could be 4 season in a day, NZ is like that, a jumper will do no harm lots of that is realy a must, for a dip in the sea or pools..swimsuit, sandals for walking around and a good big towel. ..all toiletries you need for the shower afterwards, shampo, you realy need the get the salt of your skin. suncream a must too, lipbalm and a hat. don't dehydrated..take your waterbottle with you...or buy from the provided vending maschine.
Offers an intimate restaurant setting with spectacular sunset dining overlooking mountains and sea.
Their relaxed yet formal atmosphere offers you an enjoyable dining experience with quality second to none!. They offer temptations from the sea - your mouth will water just reading the alternatives ehehe shellfish, prawns and both crayfish and fish freshly caught each day. Freshness and flavour that can only be found when dining next to the sea.
But then they also cater for meat eaters with choices of lamb, beef, chicken, and venison as well as vegetarian.
As well as it's world~famous whales and fabulous seafood, Kaikoura is home to lots of seabirds and wildlife.
From the township several signs will direct you to the seal colony, just out of town, but to be honest, you will get to see fur seals all along the coast anyway, as long a you take the time to look. They can be hard to distinguish from the rocks sometimes, and often, as you stroll along the shoreline, it will be their bark that alerts you to their presence.
Don't venture too close, they are quite shy, and will take to the water if they feel threatened by you. Stay back, and you can enjoy them at your leisure.
Albatross and Dolphin Encounters
Perhaps you have already seen whales, or are far more interested in sea birds and dolphins, then the Albatross and the Dolphin Encounter in Kaikoura are the thing for you to do. If you are interested in all wildlife off Kaikoura's coast I would go on a whale watch tour first because there you have the chance to spot albatrosses and dusky dolphins as well, so perhaps there would be no absolute need to pay for other tours.
Of course, you will see more albatrosses, mollymawks, fulmars, fairy prions and turnstones on a specially designed birdwatch tour, and someone would be able to explain what you actually see, as big flocks of those sea birds are more common closer to the shore. With dolphins it is more a matter of luck. But with Dolphin Encounter you have the chance to swim with the dolphins - but be aware that a permit system restricts the number of swimmers in the water, so book a dolphin swim well in advance.
In summer the dusky dolphins, having a reputation for their acrobatics, showing jumps, somersaults, side slaps and back flips, come very close to the shore, so there is even a chance to spot them from the beaches.
The pods can have incredible sizes, ranging from 100 to well in the thousands. Generally they range from 100 to 300, sometimes to 600. Calves are born between September and December.
Dolphin Explorer clarifies that the swimming encounters are no "Flipper" experience with touching but that the tours are totally on the dolphins' terms.
It is also fascinating which big variety of sea and shore birds you find along the Kaikoura coast. The deep ocean canyon systems which provide abundant food attract all those species.
Also, when you drive along SH1 and along the Kaikoura Peninsula you will see an incredible lot of birds sitting on the rocks.
Not to forget the seals (with whom you can also swim) - but this is another story.
Prices (as Feb. 2007)
Albatross Encounter: adults $80, children $40, extended tour $100
Dolphins: adults swimming $130, spectator $65; children $120/55.