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Kaikoura wildlife, Whales, Dolphins, Seabirds, Fur Seals at Ohau Point and a photo essay of a stroll along the Peninsula Walkway

Wellington to Kaikoura, via Picton

Make an early start to catch for the 08:25 Interislander ferry for the three and a half hours crossing of Cook Straight through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton.

Disembark and drive south on SH1, through flat farmland and Marlborough wineries, to Blenheim. After this, the highway runs between the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges and the coast, attractive but similar scenery for over 100 Km. Stop at Ohau Point Seal Colony, sometimes referred to as Half Moon Bay, which is about 130 Km south of Picton, the carpark is on the seaward side. Spend sometime watching and photographing the seal pups in the sea pools.

There are a few motel options in Kaikoura, Bella Vista on SH1 is reasonable for two nights and is within walking distance of the town and restaurants, via Deal Street and an alleyway link to the Esplanade.


In the morning start early, drive down to Point Kean carpark, take a stroll along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and take some photographs.

Book well ahead for the afternoon Whale Watching tour, after the Peninsula walk drive to the check-in terminal for lunch in the cafe before starting the tour. This was one of the highlights of our trip. I was able to photograph Sperm Whales, a New Zealand Fur Seals taking and eating a fish, Dusky Dolphins entertaining the punters and three types of Albatross seabirds all in just a couple of hours.

Kaikoura for wildlife is a ‘must do’ and we would like to have spent longer in the area.


Hyperlink to . Web Page Hyperlink image showing Kaikoura Peninsula hills with the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges in the background, New Zealand Hyperlink image showing Sperm Whale, 'Spouting/Breathing', Kaikoura, New Zealand Hyperlink image showing Dusky dolphin, Kaikoura, New Zealand Hyperlink image showing Shy Albatross / Mollymawk, Kaikoura, New Zealand