Kaikoura is a small coastal town on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Situated in southern coastal Marlborough about half way between Christchurch and Blenheim, this area of New Zealand is famed for its seafood.
Many thanks to http://www.kaikoura.govt.nz/
Kaikoura lies on a narrow coastal plain between high mountains and the Pacific Ocean. In places along this coast the mountains drop almost straight into the sea, with barely enough flat land for a single railway line, two lane road and rocky beach to be accommodated and even then some short tunnels are needed on corners. The steepness of the mountains reflects the underwater geography as well and the continental shelf edge lies just offshore here. This causes the ocean around Kaikoura to be rich in sea life and attracts seals, whales (and humans) to the area to partake in the bounty of the sea.
In maori kai means eat and koura is crayfish (rock lobster). So Kaikoura is a place to eat crayfish.
The Maori settled in Kaikoura long before European colonisation of New Zealand and cultivated the coastal plain, planting kumera, a form of sweet potato.
Kaikoura is on State Highway 1, and you must pass through it if you are driving that route. Two hours drive north of Christchurch.
* Go whale watching.
* Surf - reef breaks and point breaks. Two surf shops in Kaikoura plus local surfboard manufacturer Surge Surfboards.
* Take a fishing trip.
* Kayak or swim with seals and dolphins.