Kaikoura developed as a centre for the whaling industry, mainly due to the abundance of marine life from the depths of the nearby Hikurangi Trench. The trench is a linear deep in the Pacific Ocean, and reaches a depth of 3,000 metres as close as 80 km from the shore.
It is this deep water that has provided the environment to attract and sustain giant sperm whales and other whales and other marine life. After feeding on giant squid in the deep canyon off Kaikoura, sperm whales surface and spout very close to land.
The town is now a popular tourist destination, mainly for whale watching, for its Dusky dolphins, and its Southern Fur Seals. One may also see an albatross, one of the largest flying birds.
|"Spermwhale Tail", Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand. |
Photo Image © Karen Toh
Whale Watching in Kaikoura is an adventure in itself, and depends on the weather, sea conditions and the whale season. Some of the whale watching companies guarantee an 80% refund if the tour does not see a whale.