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           Home >  Regions  > Kaikoura  :

Kaikoura Tours
- Dorothy - 9/1/98

What the tour operators offer visitors.

Kaikoura Township Looking North
Kaikoura Township Looking North
source - Joe Levy
Enter the attractive Visitor Centre and a bewildering array of choices is offered. In the last issue in "Kaikoura On A Budget" I wrote about activities for the budget conscious. This article will focus on the tours offered.

Viewing the whales
People viewing the marine life may see dusky, hectors and bottlenose dolphins, and sperm, southern right, blue and pilot whales, orca and New Zealand fur seals in a setting of wonderful coastal and mountain scenery.

Audio-visual 'See the Whales'
This vivid twenty minute audio visual is shown every hour at the Visitor Centre. $2 Adult, $1 child, $5 Family.

By Boat
Whale Watch Kaikoura
operates four trips daily when the weather is suitable. These tours give you the chance to view whales, dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, and seabirds.

By air
From Peketa Airfield

Two companies, Whale Watch Air and Air Tours Kaikoura, operating jointly as Wings over Whales, offer 20-30 minute plane flights to view the whales. These depart every 45 minutes on demand.

From the Railway Station
Kaikoura Helicopters offers aerial Whale Watching, 20-30 minute flights departing daily on demand.

These flight operators also offer other scenic flights.

Viewing tours
Tours around the Kaikoura area include scenic land tours offered by Round About Scenic Tours and TJ's Tours.

Glencree 4WD Game Safari Tour organises drives through natural bush near Oaro to view seascapes and mountains.

Farm tours including sheep shearing, dog handling, deer and goat viewing are run by Glenburn Farm Tours, and Seaward Valley Farm Tours offers a tour with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

The Lake Rotorua Bird-Watch Cruise takes you on a 4WD trip across the farm to a pontoon to view over fifty bird species on and around the lake.

The Maori Leap Cave, a sea-formed limestone cave close to State Highway One a short distance south of Kaikoura, can be visited on a guided tour. This cave is thought to be over two million years old, but was discovered only in 1958.

Peninsula scenic boat trips are offered on demand by Gerald Diedrichs. These 30-40 minute trips give a view of the Peninsula from the sea.

Activities for the adventurous
You can swim with the dolphins in the open ocean on tours offered by two companies, Dolphin Encounter and the Kaikoura Wildlife Centre, and Graeme's Seal Swim and Topspot Seal Swim offer land based guided Seal Snorkelling tours in the summer season, from November to April.

Scuba diving equipment may be hired from the Kaikoura Wildlife Centre and lessons are available. Guided coastal or forest walks are also run by the Centre.

Four wheeler safaris on four wheel motorbikes through hill country, riverbed and bush are offered by Four Wheeler Safaris.

You can go on horse treks with Fyffe View Horse Treks or Lake View Horse Treks.

In the ski season you can ski at Mt Lyford Skifield on day excursions from Kaikoura or stay in the log chalet accommodation at Mt Lyford.

Flying a small plane yourself can be an exciting experience on a 30 minute flight with Pilot a Plane run by the Kaikoura Aeroclub.

Possum Posse gives you the chance to join a 2.5 hour possum and rabbit shooting trip.

Half a day river rafting (grade 2.5) on the scenic Clarence River, is organised by Tony Whinwray. A mini coach takes you to the Glen Alton Bridge. A Kiwi barbecue is included after the trip. Three to five day trips can also be arranged.

A three day walk over hill country and along the beach fifty miles south of Kaikoura on South Highway 1 with accommodation provided is offered by Sally and David Handyside. It starts and finishes at The Staging Post.

Mountain bikes can be ridden over the track in two days.

Deep sea, surface and game fishing and crayfish potting are offered by two charter companies.

Don't forget the Lions Fishing Competition on the Esplanade on January 3, 1998, and the boat fishing contest on Saturday, February 7, sponsored by Pacifica Seafoods to raise money for the Kaikoura Coastguard Rescue Vessel.

Art and Craft Trail
Those who enjoy art and craft will relish the opportunity that a holiday gives for exploring the work of others. Often you will want to buy, but whether you buy or not. you will find the trail offers varied wares and interesting artists and craftspeople.

North of the town near the mouth of the Hapuku River on the north side is Seaward Pottery, where you may see Juanita Edelmann at work.

The St James Gallery in Red Swamp Rd shows work offered by the Kaikoura Art Society.

The Contours Gallery, at 40 West End, is a cooperative venture with the sculpture of Gabrielle Young, paintings and mirrors by Brigit and Walter Kunz, ceramic art objects by Robert Wagoner, metal art by Luke Wagoner and bone and wood art by guest exhibitors. The work by Brigit and Walter Kunz can also be seen at their gallery at 129 Scarborough St.

The Sealside Gallery at West End, another cooperative venture, has a range of wares including wood and bone carving, pottery, art, silk, woollens, and glass. Jocelyn Dowle's painting, water colours and silk dyeing can be seen here or at 177 Torquay St.

South Bay Gallery features art, miniatures, magnetic frames, tiles and earrings.

For transport around the area book The Kaikoura Shuttle or hire a bicycle from Bike Hire.

For detailed information about the tours visit, phone, fax, email or write to Visitor Centre, The Esplanade, Kaikoura.

Phone (03) 319 5641
Fax (03) 319 6819

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