Animal Wildlife In Kaikoura

May 4, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Situated on the East Coast of New Zealand’s East Coast, the township of Kaikoura is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the natural beauty and adventure that surrounds the area. Snowcapped mountains border one side of the township while the coast sits on the other. This combination is part of the reason that local and international visitors flock to the area all year round to experience Kaikoura.

As well as creating some of the most spectacular views in the country, Kaikoura’s unique landscape is also home to a variety of wildlife; creating a town which is well suited to eco-tourism. In particular, Kaikoura is known for its marine animal wildlife. Here is some of the most amazing wildlife which resides in Kaikoura Peninsula.


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Off the coast of Kaikoura there is a 2km deep undersea canyon. The convergence of two strong sea currents in this trench draws plant and animal nutrients to the surface and is responsible for marine animals flocking to the area. One of the most famous animals taking advantage of these nutrient rich waters is the Giant Sperm Whale. Year round residents in the area, Giant Sperm Whales draw in visitors who enjoy the town’s whale watching tours which allow them to get up close with these spectacular sea giants. Seasonal visits from Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales and Southern Right Whales are also common in the area.


Joining the whales in Kaikoura’s waters is a number of dolphin species. Dusky Dolphins can be seen all year round and have a reputation for showing off their acrobatic skills. Different seasons also see other species of dolphin including Orca and Bottlenose Dolphin making an appearance.


Kaikoura has several Fur Seal colonies with the animal making a triumphant return from the brink of extinction which is a result of last century’s seal hunting. There are several points along the coast road that Fur Seals can be seen, as well as a seal rookery where pups can be seen with their mothers.


The largest concentration of seabirds on mainland New Zealand can be found in Kaikoura, as well as the largest variety. Taking advantage of the abundance of fish and shallow waters in Kaikoura, pelagic birds in their thousands flock to the area. 14 different species of albatross have earned Kaikoura the title of the Albatross Capital of the World. Multiple species of Shags, Petrels, Prions, Penguins and Shearwaters can also be spotted, with chartered boats specifically for bird viewing operating out of the township.

With such an abundance and variety of marine life taking up residence in Kaikoural, the township makes the ideal destination for those looking to experience some of New Zealand’s most amazing animals. Find out more about Kaikoura’s animals on the Whale Watch website.

If you are thinking about taking a New Zealand vacation, make Kaikoura your destination! Talk to the knowledgable team at Whale Watch Kaikoura about getting the most out of your visit.