Kaikoura is a small seaside community 183km north of Christchurch. Although the peninsula is backed by the dazzlingly snow-capped 2600m Seaward Kaikoura's, the town’s climate is tempered by the sea. Situated in New Zealand’s “sunbelt”, the region averages over 2000 hours of sunshine annually. As one of the rare places where giant whales, dusky and Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals, albatross, penguins, and various pelagic birds can all be viewed year-round, the area is a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts. However, there’s more to Kaikoura than its marine population:
- Its great surf,
- Beautiful Wilderness Walkway
- Nearby ski fields
- Excellent local seafood (especially crayfish)
- Wineries all help to attract the region's many visitors
- Whale Watch
- Dolphin Encounter
- Seal Swim
Check out Explore our backyard to see what deals you can get with many activities in the region.
The History of Kaikoura
Maori legend describes how the Kaikoura peninsula, Taumanu o te Waka o Maui, served as the seat of the demigod Maui while he fished up the north island from the depths of the sea, and the area was already inhabited before European settlement. Later, Kaikoura was an important whaling station until 1922, when the end of whale-hunting made the town dependent on its agriculture and fishing resources. Since the late 1980s marine life has once again taken economic precedence in the form of eco-tourism activities which have firmly established Kaikoura on the tourist map. The name Kaikoura means “to eat crayfish”. It is said that the full name is Te Ahi-kai-koura-a-Tamatea-pokai-Whenua meaning “the fire which Tamatea-pokai-Whenua made to cook crayfish”. The legendary traveller stayed at Kaikoura Peninsula to cook crayfish during a journey.
Great value for money $20 stay cheaper than a unpowered tent site. Good location right in the CBD so easy to get to places. Cool mini movie cinema and rock
Awesome pool and spa, beautiful amenities, very clean and modern, wonderful staff
Rooms, kitchen and toilets are very neat tidy. I never stayed in backpackers before.However this time i really enjoyed my stay there. They got some really
We stayed for one night and it was fantastic! We got a private family room with an ensuite, the beds were nice and the room was spacious. The pool and spa were
Bruce – Renwick Premiers, 2021 The facilities and accommodation were excellent and perfect for the boys stay and the Management and players would like
Bruce – Renwick Premiers
Clean and well presented rooms with very well organised kitchen with great storage and very clean. Great service for our late check in and friendly reception
Clean and plenty facilities, good Wifi, very affordable and excellent staff. The hostel Dog George is an absolute highlight! Highly recommend staying here.
Wonderful stay at Dusky! Such a warm welcome from Russel and George, and friendly fellow backpackers and travelling families. This place caters to all. Spa
Great basic accommodation. The pool was a real hit and having the bar / restaurant beside was awesome.
Sue Keall – Victoria University of Wellington, 2020 Awesome accommodation option for a group. Great facilities and potential for bespoke requests.
Sue Keall – Victoria University of Wellington