Kaikoura Activities

Apr 22nd, 2019, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 262
Kaikoura Activities

we will be spending 2 nights in Kaikoura. Next March. The first afternoon when we arrive we値l take the peninsula walk. The next morning we値l be doing the dolphin encounter which ends around noon. I was thinking of booking us for the sunset seal kayaking tour. Does anyone have any experience with doing two water tours in a day? Has anyone done the sunset kayak tour? Does it seem like too much? Are there any other activities for that afternoon that anyone would highly recommend?

soods is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2019, 03:09 PM
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I don't think it's too much to schedule for one day, but I'm not familiar with your normal energy levels. I wouldn't do both on one day. I've done the Dolphin Encounter. I didn't get seasick, but felt chilled, as the water is cold. They provide a wetsuit, and a hood as I recall, but I still felt cold (and you might too unless you're used to swimming in cold water with a wetsuit). And I also had the added protection of diving gloves, which I brought with me. The little bits of exposed flesh can give you a chill. The Dolphin Encounter was an unplanned activity for my husband and myself. We signed up for the Whale Watch tour, but when it was cancelled due to rough ocean conditions, we did the Dolphin Encounter instead, as their boats don't go as far out to sea, where the ocean can be rougher. When we returned from the Dolphin Encounter, we learned that whale watch tours were again going out as the ocean had calmed down, but we decided to pass on this second activity as it would have been too much for us. I think we both just wanted to take it easy for the rest of the day, and to be warm and dry on solid ground. The Dolphin Encounter was amazing, as we swam with hundreds of dolphins, some who came right up and made eye contact.

You probably know that, for one reason or another, the dolphin encounter might be cancelled and you might have to reschedule, if there is availability. So you might want to leave that afternoon free, though, if need be, you can reschedule for the following morning, as the boats start out early (sunrise). I can't say how often the Dolphin Encounter gets cancelled, certainly less with the Dolphin Encounters than with the Whale Watch Tours.

I've not kayaked off Kaikoura, though I'd like to!

What time will you be arriving on your first afternoon? Where will you be driving in from? Is there a reason you won't be scheduling the sunset kayaking tour on your first afternoon?
These are the sunset times for March:
What time does the sunset kayak go out? Maybe you can walk part of the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway before your sunset kayak tour.

You said you'll be getting back from your dolphin swim around noon. Sounds like a nice time to walk as this will be the warmest, sunniest time of day, that is, if it's not raining or cloudy. There are no guarantees with NZ's coastal weather. It could just as easily be cold and windy or gloriously sunny.

Last edited by Diamantina; Apr 22nd, 2019 at 03:23 PM.
Diamantina is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2019, 03:45 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 262
Hi Diamantina,

We do have a high energy level so I was mostly concerned about being cold or too much wave activity and potential sea sickness. We are flying into Christchurch from Rotorua and then driving to Kaikoura. We don’t have the flight time yet. I know the drive will take two and a half hours without there are 2 different companies. One starts at 4:30 and the other at 6:00. . I do think you hit on the perfect solution though. Sometimes it takes someone else’s point of view. I think I will schedule the kayak tour for that evening and do the peninsula walk the next afternoon ( providing the the dolphin encounter isn’t postponed!). Thanks so much for sharing your experience and thoughts
soods is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2019, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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You should definitely be concerned about cold and seasickness. Some people get seasick very easily, the rocking of the boat is enough. If you're prone, take seasickness medication (you must do this about an hour to several hours before the trip), drink ginger tea, bring along some bland crackers, and try to stare at the horizon as the boat is moving. In New Zealand, you can also buy Scopalamine seasickness patches over the counter, but I wouldn't advise using these without having used them before as some people experience adverse side effects and they make you very drowsy. I use Scopalamine patches, but sometimes even these don't work if the sea is really rough. I've also tried using an acupressure wristband--totally useless for me. Avoid alcoholic beverages the night before On the day of your trip, eat a high-protein, non-fatty breakfast. And try to get a good night's rest.

If you get an early flight from Rotorua to Christchurch, and everything goes as planned, then you could do the kayaking trip that first afternoon. Just be aware things can go wrong, flights can be delayed or cancelled. If you're willing to take this risk, then go for it. I always take out travel insurance. The drive is two and half hours but there are some great wineries along the way. I'd have a hard time not stopping at a couple of them: https://www.northcanterburywines.co.nz/
Diamantina is offline  
Apr 24th, 2019, 04:40 PM
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Thanks for all the advise. We値l probably play it by ear. Stopping at a winery might be a nice alternative!
soods is offline  
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