ADVENTURE TWENTY: Akaroa & Kaikoura

Published on
March 20, 2022

These two towns are on Canterbury’s coast and are known for, and are arguably the best places to encounter, dolphins, whales and many of the other oceanic wildlife that NZ has to offer.

Akaroa is a quaint little ‘French’ town situated over the hills from Christchurch on the ‘bit that sticks out’ as you look at the map! A bit of a windy summit road to get over there, but what a view. So many gorgeous bays and arms of inlets in front of you as you wind your way to the bottom.

It’s a pretty Harbour town with its boulangeries, boucheries, cafes and ice cream parlours, leading you down to the lighthouse and marina where you can board one of a couple of the tour boats out around the bays. We chose Akaroa dolphins for a 2hr trip which was fantastic. Along with the many dolphins, seals, penguins, birds and stunning scenery that we experienced, the other highlight of the day was Albie, the resident Springer Spaniel boat dog, who was everybody’s friend and also the chief dolphin spotter. Not to tella lie, Albie has the ability to hear the sounds the dolphins make from the boat(impossible for us humans!) and would be up the front hanging over the edge looking for them long before any of us spotted their rounded dorsal fins breaking the water!

Kaikoura is also world famous for dolphin swimming, kayaking with seals, and especially, whale watching.

We went on the Whale watching boat and were lucky enough to see a Sperm Whale at the first stop. We first noticed him (Motu) by the spouting of water from his blowhole. He then graced us with his presence for about 10mins before flipping his tale and heading down into the blue.

We carried on and noticed a dolphin, then 2, then 3, then tens of dolphins surrounded us! Some even gave us an aerobatic display flipping in the air and jumping through the waves.

Next stop was a huge rock with just as many fur seals with their pups on it!

Sailing back, we passed big schools of feeding fish and some very large Albatross circling and diving down to get the fish.

All in all, a wonderful couple of days and experiences hadin Akaroa and Kaikoura.



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