Here are some of the area’s activities, many of which depend on season of course. Kaikoura is a Mecca for wildlife enthusiasts! Browse this list for ideas…

At SurfWatch

  • Bring your laptop - Wireless internet available
  • Trampoline for kids
  • Barbeque
  • Lounge outside in deck chairs
  • Relax!

Within 10 minutes of SurfWatch

  • Mangamaunu Point, about 5 minutes walk away, is perhaps the South Island’s most famous surfing break. A great and secluded beach walk too.
  • Ohau Seal Colony is located about 10 minutes drive north.
  • Ohau Waterfall Walk, 10 minutes north, then a 5 minute walk. In the Winter, you may see baby seals playing in the waterfall.
  • Seaward Pottery is a 2 minute drive.
  • One minute walk to the beach. Beachcombing is fun as “Paua” shells (New Zealand abalone) can be found. Paua is unique for it’s rich blue and green colors.

Around Kaikoura

The Kaikoura area has a range of great activites, most of which are listed below.

Animal Farm

  • See llamas, donkeys, miniature horses, spotted sheep, wallabies

Art, Art Lessons, Art Galleries

  • Painting/Drawing lessons available
  • Make your own stone & clay sculpture
  • A variety of Galleries


  • Irish and sports bars, occasional live bands, plenty to sample.


  • Find whole paua shells or beautiful natural polished chips

Bird Watching

  • Sea Birds including albatross, shearwaters, etc.
  • Land birds including native pigeons, tui’s, perhaps a kea (New Zealand parrot)

Cave Walks

  • Limestone caves, guided and educational, see rare straw stalactites and cave pearls


  • Several local arts & crafts shops and galleries

Crayfish for dinner

  • At any restaurant or buy your own from a highway vendor 10 minutes north of SurfWatch

Dolphin and Seal Swimming

  • An experience you will never forget


  • Dive lessons
  • Scuba gear hire (rental)
  • Boat or land-based trips
  • Dive with seals!
  • Divers rave about diving in Kaikoura


  • So many to choose from!

Farm Bike Tours

  • Ride a 4 Wheeler!

Farm Stays

  • Find out what farm life is really all about

Fish & Chips Restaurants

  • The best in New Zealand


  • Surf casting from the beach
  • Charters - Catch & cook your own fish


  • Learn to fly in Kaikoura
  • Wings Over Whales tours
  • Charter flights

Four Wheel Drive Tours & Adventures

  • See parts of New Zealand few people ever see

Fossil Hunting

  • Exciting finds! Anyone can participate


  • Sensational from the “Woolshed Gallery”

Garden Tours

  • Visit Kaikoura’s nicest gardens

Gift Shops

  • One of which is a reasonably priced Sheepskin and Knitware specialist
  • Plenty of souvenirs, paua, greenstone jewelry, arts & crafts


  • Kaikoura has a great golf course
  • Mini Golf too

Greenstone (Jade)

  • Experienced and outstanding carvers

Helicopter Charters

  • Sightseeing, skiing, snowboarding, hunting, hiking (tramping)


  • Fyffe House
  • Kaikoura Museum

Hiking (Tramping)

  • Tracks (trails) range from easy 10 minute walks to advanced Helicopter drops

Horse Treks/Riding Lessons

  • In the hills or on the beach

Hot Pools

  • A Favourite with the locals too, especially in Winter - 2 hours away at Hamner Springs


  • Bag a trophy stag in the Kaikoura bush

Jet Boat Rides

  • A Great Thrill - 2 hours away near Hamner


  • Guided Sea Kayak trips
  • Equipment hire (rental)

Llama Treks

  • Get to know these nutty animals

Learn to Surf

  • Board Silly Surf School
  • Right out in front of SurfWatch

Lavendar Farm

  • Really cute with great products - Lavendyl Farm

Limestone Cave Tour

  • See stalactites and stalagmites

Maori Art

* A great local Maori Art Gallery

Maori Tours

  • Guided tours, learn about Maori culture and history

Massage Therapy

  • Get a massage in Kaikorua

Mini Golf

  • Yes, or course, mini-golf too

Multi-Media Presentation

  • 20 minute big screen depiction of the Marine environment and wildlife of Kaikoura (Kaikoura Visitors Centre)


  • Kaikoura two great little museums
  • A record of Kaikoura’s Maori & European settlement and the whaling days

Paua Jewelry

  • Locally made in Kaikoura


  • Visit Seaward Pottery, 2 minutes from SurfWatch, others in Kaikoura

Railroad Tours

  • Ride the train to SeaFest!


  • Organic Food - Hislop’s Cafe
  • Seafood is a Kaikoura specialty; Come at SeaFest time!

River Swimming

  • A few great summer swimming holes in the area.

Rock and Tide Pools

  • See fish, crabs, octopus, and shellfish


  • End of the Peninsula
  • Seal colony
  • Several Coastal Lookout points


  • Kaikoura is famous for it’s underwater world.


  • A guided tour away from city lights and a fabulous evening!


  • Several breaks beginner to advanced
  • Local Surf Shop
  • Local shaper, surfboard manufacturer, ding repair - outstanding designs - Surge Surfboards

Swim With


  • 1 hour from Kaikoura. Equipment hire (rental) and instruction available (June to September)
  • Ski chalets, ski lodge, restaurant

Tramping (Hiking)

  • Tracks (trails) range from easy 10 minute walks to advanced Helicopter drops

Whale Watching Tours

  • By boat, plane, or helicopter


  • Kaikoura’s own wines. Very scenic and with an underground cellar.