A coastal town on NZ's South Island, renowned for whale watching, dolphin encounters, and a rich marine life set against a mountainous backdrop.
Tips from the community
Through the Otago winelands and up Route 1 past the Garden City of Christchurch brings you neatly on a circuit of South Island. Conveniently, you can wind up your trip in the town of Kaikoura. It’s more famous for its whale watching
than its surf, but there’s certainly no shortage of swells to ride when you aren’t spotting the ocean giants.
Straddling an estuary to the south is Kahutara. It’s got black-pebble beaches that run along grassy headlands, offering up curling right-hand breaks that can hold up well in stronger east-going swells. Driving north through Kaikoura heralds a whole string of other spots. They’ve all got small towns or car parks where you can pull in the camper and hop straight into the lineup, starting with famous Mangamaunu, walling up empty beneath the Kaikoura Range and ending at the punchy points that spread along the mouth of the Clarence River.
4 years ago
From the sheer-cut fjords of South Island to the smoke-sputtering volcano cones of North Island, New Zealand is brimming with breathtaking natural sites. It’s an obvious destination for any adventure-hungry traveler, touting more wild bays, shimmering beaches, misty rainforests, and snow-capped mountains than you can shake an endangered kiwi bird at (but definitely don’t do […]