A Marine Animal Or Plant That Lives On The Shore Marine Life Of The Kaikoura Coast

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Marine Life Of The Kaikoura Coast

Kaikoura is a small town on the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Kaikoura is 180 km north of Christchurch and is a popular tourist destination for domestic and international visitors. This tourism is based on the stunning natural beauty and rich marine life.

This variety of marine life is due to Kaikoura’s position on the coast where the Kaikoura Peninsula juts out to sea and the currents created by the nearby Hikurangi Trench. A special feature is the 2 km deep Kaikoura Canyon, where two strong ocean currents converge and bring to the surface large amounts of plant and animal nutrients. This attracts many fish and crustaceans, which in turn attract a large variety of seabird species and the most spectacular sea creatures of all: dolphins and the magnificent sperm whale.

Some of the birds that can be seen on the Kaikoura coast include seven species of Shearwater, Petrels, Albatross and four species of Penguin: Chinstrap Penguin, Fiordland Crested Penguin, the endangered and protected Yellow-eyed Penguin and the Blue Penguin.

Another protected species found in Kaikoura is the New Zealand fur seal. Between November and September you can see fur seals and their pups at Keen Point.

Hunting in the depths of Kaikoura Canyon is the Giant Squid. These can grow up to 20 meters and hunt sharks, other squid and fish.

Some of the fish species found in this area are Hoki, Kingfish and Hapuka. These provide rich hunting for sharks: Mako, Plunket and the dreaded Great White.

One of Kaikoura’s big attractions for visitors is the many species of dolphins. The common dolphin is joined by the southern right whale dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Hector’s dolphin (found only in New Zealand) and the Dusky dolphin. Kaikoura Coast dolphins enjoy diving and playing in the wake of the many whale watching boats.

Without a doubt, the main attraction in Kaikoura is the whales. Unusually, the Giant Sperm Whale makes a year-round home in Kaikoura due to the rich food source available. During the winter months, humpback whales (the loudest, largest and heaviest creatures on earth) are frequent visitors. Also rarely seen in Kaikoura waters are Minke, Pygmy Sperm, Southern Right and Baled Beaked.

There are a number of tour operators offering the opportunity to see whales, dolphins, seabirds and many other types of marine life in Kaikoura by land, sea or air and many places to stay at a range of prices.

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