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Kaikoura - The Home of Whale Watching

Road access between Kaikoura, Blenheim and Picton on State Highway 1 is now available 24 hours/7 days a week
Bus/coach between Kaikoura to Blenheim, Picton and Nelson and combined bus/ferry service from Kaikoura to Wellington are now operating
The rail line to and from Christchurch, Blenheim and Picton to Kaikoura is open with passenger rail/train services to and from Kaikoura.

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Locations near Kaikoura
 - Blenheim
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 - St Arnaud/Nelson Lakes

Kaikoura and Snowcapped Kaikoura RangesKaikoura (Pop: 2173) is located 132kms south of Picton and 180kms north of Christchurch, is situated on rocky coastline - Kaikoura is renowned as the whale watching centre of New Zealand and  'Swimming with the Dolphins'.

The town has a strikingly beautiful setting, as the Seaward Kaikoura mountains, a branch of the Southern Alps come nearly to the sea at this point on the coast. Because of this, there are many walking tracks up and through the mountains.

A common one for tourists is the Mt. Fyffe track, which winds up Mt. Fyffe, and gives a panoramic view of the Kaikoura peninsula from the summit.

The name 'Kaikoura' translates to 'meal of crayfish' ('kai'- food/meal, 'koura' - crayfish) and the crayfish industry still plays a role in the economy of the region.

However Kaikoura has now become a popular tourist destination, mainly for whale watching (the Sperm Whale watching is perhaps the best and most developed in the world) and swimming with or near dolphins.

There is also a large and readily observed colony of Southern Fur Seals at the eastern edge of the town.

At low tide, better viewing of the seals can be had as the ocean gives way to a rocky base which is easily navigable by foot for quite some distance.

Kaikoura's major event is the 'Seafest' which is held in October. Besides the rich marine mammals and birdlife, Kaikoura can offer the visitor a range of activities from early whaling exhibits, 4WD driving, horse trekking, farms tours to skiing at Mt Lyford Skifield only a hour's drive from Kaikoura.

Kaikoura is served daily inter-regional and long distance coach and bus services to and from Christchurch, Blenheim and Picton connecting with Cook Strait ferry services from Wellington to Picton and Picton to Wellington.

The nearest domestic airport for Kaikoura is Blenheim or Christchurch for domestic and international air services.