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About Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a small coastal village that has an incredible vista; a large mountain range (the Seaward Kaikoura’s) provides a dramatic backdrop to the town centre located on the east side of a small peninsula extending out into the Pacific Ocean. This stunning view alone captivates those who visit Kaikoura.

Kaikoura is located on the east coast of the South Island between Christchurch and Picton. Christchurch, 180km (2.5 hours drive) to the south of Kaikoura has an international airport and Picton, 160km (2 hours drive) to the north, is the entry point for travellers coming to the South Island by ferry from Wellington in the North Island. The Tranz Coastal train is a beautiful way to travel from Picton to Christchurch and stops in Kaikoura twice daily.


Kaikoura is privileged with natural attractions revolving around the ocean and mountains and as a result is now well served by many activities which centre on these two domains.

Kaikoura Walks
Encounter Kaikoura operates two boat based tours; Dolphin Encounter and Albatross Encounter. The viewing of marine life, namely whales, dolphins, seals and birds is the main reason visitors come to Kaikoura, but there are many other attractions such as walks, fishing, scuba diving, 4 wheel adventures, Maori Tours and much more. For more information on some of Kaikoura's leading attractions visit - the Kaikoura Information Centre website has a comprehensive coverage of activities and information useful to those visiting Kaikoura.

New Zealand fur seals


Kaikoura is well served with places to stay, from motor inn to backpacker accommodation. Once again Kaikoura Information Centre is a good source for this directory. Some of the closest accomodation to the Encounter Kaikoura complex is:


The Encounter Kaikoura complex has its own licensed café facility for visitors and specialises in breakfasts, lunches and casual dining. For more information on our wonderful coffee and delicious menu, visit our website at Cafe Encounter

Kaikoura has a large selection of eating places, from restaurants to fish and chip and fast food outlets. Crayfish (rock lobster) caught locally in the waters around Kaikoura, is a delicacy and a favourite dish in most restaurants.