#9 Discovering Kaikoura - Epic Peninsula & Crayfish Town

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In the last episode, I mentioned that I spent 4 days & 3 nights discovering Kaikoura. I was more of a tourist back then, never exposed to budget traveling before. So the first thing I did was to sign up for different tourist activities in i-Site. Swimming with seals and taking a cruise out to see the albatross, ending up spending quite some money into these activities.

Actually, before I even leave Motueka, I planned for more tourist activities, like dolphin tours and whale watching tours. But luckily, I didn’t book them. In fact, I planned to book them on the second day instead of the first day.

(I don’t wanna spend so much money in a single day…)

So here’s what happened on the following days.

kaikoura first day

Second Day in Kaikoura

In the early morning, I joined the albatross watching cruise. The sea breeze was freezing that my nose kept running. It was indeed a very worthful tour, we got really close to the albatross in the middle of the vast ocean.

The awkward thing? Everyone onboard is either old couples retired from their jobs or adults in their 40s. I was the only youngster on board, which makes me feel like I’m the spoilt brat that travels with my parents’ money.

I did talk to some passengers as well, but that was my first time leaving Malaysia alone. Couldn’t speak in English well…

Everyone onboard was so busy taking photos of the gigantic birds, none of us talks unless necessary. Kinda awkward though, but the tour lasted only two hours so… Nevermind.

Originally, the ‘swimming with seals’ was supposed to be after the albatross tour, but it got canceled because of the rough waves.


kaikoura albatross

I’ll definitely get frozen if I were to swim in the sea. The seals might need to rescue me when things go wrong.

So I went back hostel for a little rest before going for Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, which took me more than 5 hours. The walkway was crazy long but the scenery was just the best I’ve ever come across at that point.

The walkway wasn’t supposed to take such a long time but you know… Taking photos again…

Got really close to seals sometimes. It was fun watching the clumsy bulky creatures walking around. Feels like hugging them so much, I think everyone who comes across seals feels like that too.

I got back to the hostel in the late afternoon and went shopping a little for dinner. Still loves to cook dinner myself, to save money and I simply enjoy cooking.

I did one stupid thing in Kaikoura when I didn’t try the crayfish, which this town is famous for. They were expensive, and I’m not really a fan of seafood. But still, I kinda regret, because maybe I should just try some, you know… Well… Maybe next time. Now I got myself one more reason to return to New Zealand.

kaikoura fyffe house

kaikoura peninsula walkway

Third Day in Kaikoura

While there are many attractions around Kaikoura, they’re mostly hard to access without your own vehicle. There is a waterfall when you can see seal pups but again, I didn’t visit.

The only thing I did on my third day in Kaikoura is going for Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway again. But this time, I took the different route. There are two routes, one along the coastline and one along the peninsula. I took the latter yesterday so I guess I’ll go for the former on my third day.

I chose the wrong timing to go for the coastline route as it was high tide during that time. Some parts of the rocky beach were covered by sea water or frequently hit by waves.

In some parts of the track, seals were sleeping literally in the middle of the track. Not sure if they are aggressive or not, but I really don’t wanna disturb them in any way. Unfortunately, I had some miscalculations and eventually sunk my feet into the salty water.

Great, now I have to walk with my heavy, wet shoes. 

The entire track took me 8 hours. Yep, you read that right. I brought a lunch box and plenty of water with me luckily. I had nowhere else to go anyway so I might as well just spend my day chilling and relaxing in this walkway. Took some off beaten tracks as well.

The weather in Kaikoura was so pleasant I didn’t even feel like it was strenuous walking for so many hours. If you’re in New Zealand, I highly recommend paying a visit to Kaikoura and enjoy this lovely crayfish town. Check out my Ultimate Guide for New Zealand Road Trip.

kaikoura seals

kaikoura seals

Fourth Day in Kaikoura

On my fourth day, I took the bus heading to Christchurch in the morning. Stay tuned for the next episode and see what I did in Christchurch and the heavenly paradise, Akaroa.

Guess you’ll love reading 27 Remarkable Things to Do in New Zealand South Island.

Wrapping It Up

Again, I hope you enjoyed reading and looking forward to the next episode. Til next time, have a great weekend!

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Written by

Yen is a university student from Malaysia and a huge fan of Blues music and photography. His passion for travel can be traced back to 2016 when he spent 6 months traveling New Zealand. By blending into the locals and traveling long-term, he shares all the comprehensive and detailed travel ideas and guides for the countries with his footprints.

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