Things to do in
Kaikoura Peninsula

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Our most recommended things to do in Kaikoura Peninsula

Kaikoura: Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour

1. Kaikoura: Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour

Begin your adventure in the town of Kaikoura where you will meet your professional guides. Receive a short safety briefing and paddling lesson before being allocated all the necessary equipment for the tour. Head out on the waters of the beautiful ocean surrounding the city. Kayak along the Kaikoura coastline, where you will take in the magnificent views of sheer cliff faces, craggy rocks, and mountain ranges while searching for chance encounters with Dusky Dolphins and Blue Penguins. Experience the excitement of watching cute fur seals ducking, weaving, and diving around your kayak. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to paddle gently along with these beautiful animals as they swim around the Kaikoura Peninsula hunting for their favourite feed of octopus. This tour is suitable for all ages and abilities while operating year-round, and doesn't require any previous kayaking experience. Encounter a diverse range of wildlife on the New Zealand coastline and see some of the country's most beautiful animals.

Kaikoura: Guided Family Kayaking Adventure

2. Kaikoura: Guided Family Kayaking Adventure

Hop into a kayak and paddle around the beautiful coastal waters of New Zealand for up to 2 hours. Take in the unique landscapes as you go or enjoy the thrill of getting right up close to New Zealand's unique marine life. Spot the curious fur seals swimming and diverse range of birds, fish, and more. Listen to a short briefing explaining how to gear up, paddle, and steer your kayak. Then with full confidence, embark on this adventure. The highly stable sea kayaks allow children to safely enjoy the kayaking experience with an adult paddling right behind them. Professional, qualified guides will remain close to you throughout the kayaking time. Take photos of the amazing mountainous region around you, absorb the sheer sublime rocks, and meet some playful New Zealand Fur Seals.

Kaikoura: Sunset Kayaking Tour

3. Kaikoura: Sunset Kayaking Tour

Join your guide as you kayak during sunset to experience the stunning glow of the seaward-facing Kaikoura Mountains. Have the chance to watch seals dive and maneuver around and under your kayak as the sunsets. Paddle with them as they swim around the peninsula hunting for octopus. Along the way keep an eye out for blue penguins or albatross and have a possible encounter with dusky dolphins. Your kayak is enclosed, safe, stable, and easily steered using a rudder. It's fast on the water, but still keeps you warm and dry. Your qualified and experienced local guide will teach you how to handle the kayak and paddle you through areas used years ago by local Maori and early whalers. Enjoy watching the light change as the day draws to an end.

New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

4. New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

Day 1 - Auckland to Hot Water Beach Depart Auckland and head south-east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world-famous Cathedral Cove. Kayak around this stunning coastline (optional activity) and have the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach; a unique surf beach where if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your own personal spa pool. Day 2 - Hot Water Beach to Waitomo Venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled among the Kaimai Ranges, for a hike amongst the walkways and old mining tunnels. Next, head over to Waitomo for a magical tour of the world-famous glow-worm caves. You will also have the opportunity to experience a Black Water Rafting trip. Day 3 - Waitomo to Rotorua Start the day with a walk through the Ruakuri Reserve. Pass through The Shire of Hobbiton where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Hobbiton Movie Set (optional activity) before rolling on through to Rotorua; a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers, and natural hot springs. Optional activities are luging down the SkyLine, White Water Rafting, Hells Gate, Mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorb, Wai-o-tapu, Polynesian Spa, or National Kiwi Hatchery. Day 4 - Rotorua free day and Tamaki Maori Village Explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, with New Zealand’s largest geyser, and a chance to see a real live Kiwi bird. Visit the Tamaki Māori Village and be immersed in the traditions and cultural values of the Māori people. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua-area from a local Māori guide before feasting on some top kai food from the hāngi pit. Gather around a blazing bonfire and enjoy listening to Māori myths and legends before relaxing in a private forest spa pool and retiring for the night in a traditional carved whare moe (sleeping house). Day 5 - Tamaki Maori Village to Taupo Day 6 - Taupo free day Day 7 - Taupo to Wellington Day 8 - Wellington to Kaikoura Day 9 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Day 10 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Day 11 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Day 12 - Wanaka to Queenstown Day 13 - Queenstown free day Day 14 - Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip

From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

5. From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

Unlock the beauty of the South Island with the convenience of a multi-day guided tour. All activities are included unless states otherwise. Day 1 - Wellington to Kaikoura Kick off the adventure with one of the most beautiful inter-island crossings in the world, the Cook Straight. Arrive at the top of the South Island and journey through the Marlborough region, home to endless rolling vineyards. Stop for a tasting along the way to sample some local Kiwi cuisine. Day 2 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Choose between a lie-in, or, for the more adventurous, an ocean excursion (extra cost) to try your luck spotting dolphins, whales, albatrosses, and more. Around mid-morning, head up the Kaikoura Peninsula to walk among a large seal colony. Next up is the diverse city of Christchurch. Here, take a walking tour of the city to learn about its street art, see the blooming botanical gardens, and learn about the city's recent history. Day 3 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Hit the road and cruise into Mackenzie Country, home to Lake Tekapo. Visit the stone Church of the Good Shepherd and admire Lake Tekapo's blue waters framed with colorful lupins. As night falls, visit the Dark Sky Project to learn about the importance of preserving dark skies and take a peek at all that lies above. Day 4 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Cruise past Lake Pukaki (you'll know how it got its nickname The Powerade Factory when you see it) and head for Mount Cook village. Take some scenic hikes in the National Park with stops to soak up the mountain views. Here choose to view the Tasman Glacier by helicopter or take a scenic flight through the Mt. Cook National Park. From mid-morning, continue to traverse through the National Park through Lindis Pass and on to Wanaka. Day 5 - Wanaka to Queenstown Have the morning to hike Wanaka's famous Roys Peak, snap "That Wanaka Tree," or climb Mount Iron. For the more daring in the group, there’s the option to experience a via Ferrata Wild Wire or hit up the lakeside trails on a mountain bike. Later, sit back and relax on the bus while viewing the scenery of the Crown ranges on the way to the adrenaline-fuelled Queenstown. End the day with a trip up the Gondola for a dinner overlooking Queenstown. Day 6 - Queenstown free dayTake a day to explore the city with lunch and activities on your own. Day 7 - Queenstown to Glenorchy Day Trip Head out into the heartlands of Otago to the picturesque town of Glenorchy to experience a scenic landscape.

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What people are saying about Kaikoura Peninsula

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 25 reviews

That the most wonderful time. Ben our guide was an absolute gem & made the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable. We saw seals, penguins & many varieties of sea birds. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable & I certainly learnt a lot. Would thoroughly recommend it to anyone visiting Akaroa

Had a great experience and a very nice time with our guide Sophie. Thank you for that! Nice chatting, lots of interesting facts about wildlife and the area, meeting some seals, penguins and even got a glimpse at a passing pod of dolphins.

The day was just great. My group had a great guide (Emma). Don't worry if you are going on this adventure alone and / or have no experience with a kayak ... Emma will show you everything and explain how it works!

This was a wonderful experience. We are novice kayakers but handled the trip quite well. Beautiful trip, saw sosme wildlife, had a great guide and saw a beautiful sunset over the magnificent mountains.

I really enjoyed my kayaking tour! We got to see lots of seals and our guide was great. Would definitely recommend.