3 days itinerary in Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a beautiful coastal town on the South Island of New Zealand. It is about 3 hours drive from Christchurch. It truly is one of the most beautiful coastal towns I have ever seen. It is definitely a place to be for people who look for adventures in water activities.

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link on this post. This will be at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links help me keep this website up and running. Thank you for your support.

Kaikoura provides ample opportunities to view and witness the beautiful marine life. Its a place where humans can get up close to the dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, sperm whales, and sometimes penguins too. We had a long weekend for Anzac day and I had planned to visit New Zealand. After discussing with my friends Adarsh and Vijay, three of us decided to travel to Kaikoura.


The below itinerary does not include the travel time from Christchurch to Kaikoura and return.

Day 1

Adarsh described the experience as: “Sitting in the cockpit next to the pilot 👩‍✈️ and watching these majestic creatures from a bird’s eye view was something spectacular!

Vijay described the experience as: “Became a bird for a while and enjoyed watching the massive Sperm Whale along with the beautiful coastal views.

What I felt was: “This is definitely one of the coolest things I have done so far. I am a big fan of watching whales. I have seen the humpback whales many times from the cruise. But this was my first experience to see: 1. Whales from the flight and 2. Seeing the sperm whale. It definitely is a must-do activity when in Kaikoura.

3 days itinerary in Kaikoura
Sperm whale captured from the whale watching scenic flight

Day 2

This was the best day of our trip to Kaikoura. The day was special because it was Vijay’s birthday and he wanted to spend his special day swimming with the dolphins 🐬 .

Vijay described the experience as “Beautiful experience to swim with Dolphins in clear water. Chasing and following dusky Dolphins was lots of fun. I would love to do that again.

What I felt was: “Oh-my-God! Are you kidding me! They were the wild dusky dolphins, one of the cutest living things on Earth. And here I was swimming with those cute things – I must have definitely been to heaven.

Day 3

Vijay described the experience as: “If you wanna just relax and enjoy the beautiful ocean view, Kayaking is a must-do activity. Refreshing.

What I felt was: “Picture this – it’s a warm sunny morning, the ocean is calm, lots of fur seals swimming casually around and you are in a kayak, paddling around these seals. Isn’t it perfect? Well, it gets better when you see unexpected visitors like dolphins and penguins. That’s what we did in this kayak tour!


  1. Wow, this absolutely speaks to the wildlife addict in me! We’re across the straight in Australia, so would love to get to the South Island soon, and obviously Kaikoura is top priority now – I’ve never heard of taking a scenic flight for whale watching, everything I’ve seen advertised around the world always takes place from a boat. But what incredible shots you got!

  2. This whole itinerary is right up my alley. I love whales, dolphins and seals. I actually wanted to be a marine biologist and specifically work with whales and dolphins, so I seek out these kinds of activities any chance I get.

  3. This is a perfect itinerary for all nature-lovers. My friends would also like this kind of adventure. I like that you got to see the marine animals. It was definitely worth the price of the tickets.

  4. Whale watching, swimming with the dolphins…. kayaking with seals, this sounds like a real paradise! I m dreaming of visiting this place.

  5. This looks like a great time in the great outdoors. The call of the outdoors is loud and clear, looking at the post, I am yearning to head out. Lovely experience of communing with nature.

  6. What a great weekend! I am not that wildlife lover but all those activities look very special. I swam with pink dolphins on the Amazon and it was really cute. Your experience looks more authentic though

  7. I did some kayaking and saw seals in New Zealand. Great experience. You can also walk to where the colony of seals is along the coast in Kaikoura. I loved the vibe of that town. Really cool and the natural landscape was amazing

    • Thats very true. My friends and I could not walk down to the seal colony, but we had plenty of time observing them on our kayaks. It was beautiful.

I would love to hear your thoughts, please drop a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.