Kaikoura is a small town of about 4,000 residents that sits on a little peninsula. The marine system offshore of Kaikoura is a rich habitat for marine mammals, including seals, dolphins, and whales. Historically, Kaikoura was a center for whaling and fishing. In the past 10-20 years, it has become a tourist destination, popular for whale watching tours. We didn't go on a whale watching tour, which basically guarantee viewing a whale, but we did see a small pod of dolphins jumping in the surf when we first arrived in town. We also saw thousands of seals, which the kids really liked.
Kaikoura is one of our favorite spots that we've visited in New Zealand so far.
View from the peninsula toward the Seaward Kaikoura Range that has peaks above 2,500 meters (8,000 feet)
Max with a beautiful little bay in the background (there were seals everywhere on the rocky platforms along the water below)