Where mountains meet the sea and wildlife takes over civilisation, Kaikōura is best known for its vast coastline which hugs the Pacific Ocean.

Kaikōura is also the ultimate Eco-tourism destination; the local community has lead the charge in conservation and sustainability with a result that it is the first destination in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve Earth Check Platinum Accreditation.


Kaikōura is a year-round destination featuring some of the most memorable experiences that New Zealand has to offer including Whale Watching and one of our all-time favourite activities in New Zealand, Swimming with the Dolphins. Add in a visit to the local seal colonies, watching the incredibly graceful Royal Albatross, a walk around the Kaikōura Peninsular, a visit to the museum and simply taking in sun rising over the Pacific; there’s lots to do here.

Local Lux Selected Experiences

Dolphin Encounter


Dolphins are some of nature’s most extraordinary and captivating creatures, when you get up close and personal, they’re absolutely amazing. Often described as life changing and heart warming, being in the water with these incredibly intelligent, inquisitive wild creatures is like nothing else you’ll ever do. There is also a chance to observe other marine life on the tour such as the New Zealand Fur Seal, Albatross and occasionally Orca.


With a limit of only 16 swimmers on each vessel this is a small group activity managed exceptionally well. You’ll need to be comfortable in deep water and yep, it’s chilly, to begin with (the thick wet suits provided soon warm up) but once you’re surrounded by sometimes hundreds of friendly dolphins, the cold is the last thing on your mind.


If you’re not comfortable to go into the water, then the opportunity to join the tour as a watcher provides spectacular viewing of these acrobatic and energised dolphins. Also witnessing the interaction between swimmers and dolphins is a fascinating experience and could quite accurately be described as the most incredible dolphin show you are likely to see.

Whale Watch


Experience an exciting up-close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator, the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment. Many other whale and dolphone species migrate past our coastline at any given time, so there is plenty of opportunity to sight other species of marine mammals such as Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Minke, Pilot, Orca and Southern Right Whales, Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Elephant Seals and Leopard Seals.