The waters off Kaikoura’s coast support a rich marine ecosystem with abundant whales, seals and dolphins. There are large ocean-going seabirds, such as the Albatross, as well as smaller species. The New Zealand Geographic has called Kaikoura, “A maritime Serengeti” and “a Sea World without Walls”. Numerous boat tours are available to take advantage of this rich marine environment.
Kaikoura’s coastal waters’ with their rich and abundant food supply provide a perfect habitat for marine mammals and seabirds. As a consequence, the Kaikoura coast is an ideal place to undertake a marine safari.
Kaikoura is home to a permanent population of bachelor sperm whales, which can be visited just a few kilometers offshore. Dolphins and seals are a permanent presence, as is the giant albatross, the largest sea bird in the world, and many smaller ocean bird species. In fact, to swim with Kaikoura’s dusky dolphins or fur seals is, in our opinion, one of the most enthralling experiences one can have anywhere. There are a number of boat tours available to place the visitor into close contact with an astounding variety of mammals and birds. If being on the water is unappealing, there are aerial viewing tours available by plane or helicopter from the Lodge, in town or at the local airport; these small aircraft provide close views from the sky of all of Kaikoura’s marine activity.
Mangamaunu surf break is around the bend from the Lodge.
Whale Watch is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New Zealand.
Visitors may see Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales or Orcas.
Sperm Whales can be seen year-round and close to Kaikoura's coastline.
Dusky dolphins are renowned for their acrobatic leaps and interactive behavior.
Kaikoura's coast hosts the most variety of seabird species in New Zealand.
The Wandering Albatross, the world's largest living bird, has a wingspan of 3.5 meters.
Lonely Planet call Kaikoura Seal Swim "Top 10 Best Marine Encounter - Worldwide".
Sea kayakers have close encounters with the Fur Seals, Blue Pengiuns and Dusky Dolphins along the Kaikoura coastline.
Visitors to Kaikoura can experience an alpine landing and see a whale all within 60 minutes.
In the Maori langage 'kai' means food, 'koura' means crayfish (rock lobster) a local delicacy that fishermen catch everyday.
There maybe more fur seals then residents in Kaikoura.