Kaikoura, New Zealand Cruise Port
For travelers who can't decide between spending time with marine life or mountains, cruising to Kaikoura, New Zealand creates the perfect balance. Located on New Zealand's south island on the east coast, the EarthCheck Community Standard recognized Kaikoura for creating sustainable tourism – and it was the first authority to do so in the Southern Hemisphere. The Hikurangi Trench within the Pacific Ocean is partially responsible for the abundance of marine wildlife found near the Kaikoura Peninsula. Thankfully, the focus has turned from whaling (which was the original economic goal when the town originally came into being) to whale and dolphin watching. Kaikoura actually means "meal of crayfish," and while fishing is still part of daily life, tourism has become one of the area's biggest industries; the climate is mild all year long and activities plentiful. Here are some of our favorite experiences while visiting the cruise port of Kaikoura, New Zealand:
- Wearing comfortable shoes, one of the first things to do is take a stroll through the Peninsula Walkway. To explore the entire path takes about three hours; however much you decide to explore, you'll see views of the mountains and ocean, along with the sea birds, animals, and plants that make the island unique.
- Birdwatchers find this one of the best places in the world to spot open ocean seabirds, thanks to easy access to petrels, shearwaters, and albatrosses. If you don't want to go it on your own, guided tours can get closer to the action.
- One of the most awe-inspiring (and adorable) activities in Kaikoura is to visit the Ohau Waterfall Walk and watch the seal pups frolic. As you make your way along the Ohau Stream you'll come to the waterfall where pups play during the winter months; you can also visit the nearby Ohau Point Seal Colony for an even better view of these charming animals.
- The Art & Design Gallery is a lovely place to browse and shop when it's time to come in from all the nature. Here you'll find original paintings, sculptures, and glass treasures, many of which are for sale.