Springing directly from the pages of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick, the seaside settlement of Kaikoura is the place to come if you want a close encounter with a modern-day "white whale" - or Sperm whale for all of you landlubbers. Located in the northeast corner of New Zealand's South Island, the Kaikoura District is arguably the best place in the world for whale watching. As the historical home of the NZ whaling industry, it has changed its focus and become one of the most successful examples of sustainable tourism in the world and has reached the Green Globe tourism certification standard, which is based on 21 principles for sustainable development. Overlooked by majestic snow-capped mountains, the combination of ocean and mountains offers stunning coastal alpine scenery and a host of eco-tourism oriented activities such as whale, seal and bird watching, in addition to swimming with dolphins, and numerous trails through the mountains, including one which winds up Mt. Fyffe, and gives a panoramic view of the Kaikoura Peninsula from the summit. But if you are looking to relax, enjoy art, history and fine wines and cuisine you will not be disappointed either. In short, Kaikoura offers it all. The hardest part will be leaving.
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- Location: Kaikoura, New Zealand