What sights or activities would you take visitors to see or do in your neck of the woods?
Kaikoura is an amazing place.
The obvious things are a whale watch tour – to see the resident sperm whales, and a swim with the dolphins tour.
Both consistently score high as life long memories with those that do them (I’ve done both many times). The Dolphin swimming scores highest with most younger folks. Both are just under $200.
If you are into birds, then the Albatross Encounter tour is amazing.
So much else here.
We have a place up at Ohau where baby seals go up a small stream to a large pool at the base of a waterfall and practice swimming there (a long way from sharks), There can be up to a hundred small seals cavorting in the pool. If you just sit quietly on a rock at the edge of the pool they will come up and investigate you – sniffing your outstretched fist and brushing it with their wiry whiskers.
We have so many interesting walks here. Walking around the peninsula looking at seals and rock pools and bird life. Walking or cycling along river margins or up Mt Fyffe (5,200 ft). Lots of walks, from half an hour up to multi-day.
The Kaikoura mountains are amongst the fastest growing on the planet. They are steep, and twisted strata from the immense pressures of colliding crustal plates can be seen in many places. In some places dinosaur fossils are clearly visible in rocks and cliffs.
There is a place where the KT (Cretaceous Tertiary) boundary layer (marking the extinction of the dinosaurs, and containing high levels of iridium indicating probable large asteroid impact) is relatively easily accessible (a two hour 4wd trip followed by a half hour walk).
There are many rare and endangered and weird plants, if one knows where to look.
We have one massive tree here that is about 1,500 years old.
We have lived here 17 years, and are still finding new and interesting places to visit.
Just in the last two weeks we have had a very rare leucistic sparrow (a colour variant that is mostly white, but not an albino as the eyes are still dark) showing up to eat at our feeding tray most days. Took a short video of it yesterday – https://youtu.be/zeZLAKoayEU
Next summer we are going to do a 5 day rafting trip down the Clarence (Waiau Toa) river.
There are enough 4WD trips yet to do that I can fill quite a few summer weekends to come.
Kaikoura is an amazing place to live – and the only way to get such stunning beauty is with active tectonic uplift (ie large earthquakes) – so there is always risk associated with living in such beauty.