The small coastal township of Kaikoura was once best known for its high unemployment, but today, it’s the whale watching capital of the world. Back in the 1980s, the local Iwi (Maori tribe) mortgaged their homes and purchased the first of what would become a fleet of whale watching vessels;transforming the community’s fortunes in the process.
According to Kati Kuri legend, Paikea travelled to New Zealand on the back of a whale. So, when looking for a means to create local employment, it seemed only appropriate for his descendants to look to the whale for a better way of life.
Whale Watch Kaikoura helped rally the local community around a single focus in purpose and today, this small coastal town is bursting at the seams with trendy eco-accommodations, cafes and galleries that attract nature lovers from across the globe. They come to get close to the biggest attraction of them all, sperm whales, a few hundred dolphins and a few thousand seals.
What are all these creatures hanging around Kaikoura for? Lin head’s below the surface to find out.