About Kaikoura New Zealand
Few places in the world can boast of such natural wonders as Kaikoura, New Zealand. The seaside settlement, situated midway between Christchurch and Picton on the rugged east coast of New Zealand's South Island, is overlooked by majestic mountains, which are snow-capped for many months of the year. This unique combination of ocean and mountains offers stunning coastal alpine scenery and a host of eco-tourism activities, including whale watching, dolphin swimming, walks, and much more!
With a population of almost 4,000 residents, the Kaikoura township is located on a rocky peninsula, protruding from lush farmland beneath the mountains.The environment is truly spectacular - the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape. In the waters off the peninsula, a complex marine system provides an abundantly rich habitat for marine mammals and seabirds making it an ideal place for getting 'close to nature'.
Kaikoura is a town with its own fasinating history. Archaeological remains indicate that Moa Hunters inhabited the peninsula 900 years ago. In Maori legend, Maui placed his foot on the Kaikoura peninsula to steady himself while he 'fished-up' the North Island. The Maori name 'Kaikoura' translates to 'meal of crayfish' (Kai - food, koura - crayfish), and it is crayfish for which the region has traditionally been famous. The area's abundant food sources attracted Maori settlement, and the remains of several pa sites can still seen on the peninsula to this day.
The town is also home to numerous world-class artists and craftspeople, all of whom creatively incorporate local flavour into their designs. They include creators in materials as diverse as bone, wood, greenstone, gold, metal, glass, clay, and silk as well as paintings, sketches and the modern art of gold leaf gilding. You may see artists at work in their studios or peruse the work of many at well-presented galleries. Art lessons are available at some studios and you may have the hands-on experience of creating your own souvenir.
Few places on Earth possess the magic of Kaikoura. It is a special part of New Zealand, imbued with powerful natural energy. A place where tectonic plates collide, towering peaks fall to the sea and ocean currents converge.
With vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes, gorgeous coastal vistas, an abundance of natural wonders and fascinating animal and plant life, it is no surprise that Kaikoura has become so attractive to visitors from other countries.