Kaikoura is regarded as the marine mammal tourism capital of New Zealand with encounters to be had with whales, dolphins, seals and sharks. The Kaikoura coast is very exposed to southerly conditions, but is a good dive area.
Articles of interest: Captivating Kaikoura, Bushett Shoals.
Best with no swell and no wind or light wind from the west. A long walk out over the rock platforms from shore. Beware of sleeping seals on the rocks. Lots of holes and niches in the rocks and a few crayfish. Snorkellers can usually get a few paua. Expect a visit from the seals.
Can be a nice spot with no swells and light or offshore winds. Great forest of kelp in red, green and brown. Butterfish, banded wrasse and spotties, plus a few jock stewarts. Crayfish often near the base of the rocks. Some very playful seals will swim around divers.
Not diveable in any swell or strong wind. Water can be quite clear. Very heavy kelp growth close to the rocks and colourful invertebrates around the bases of the rocks. Sea tulips and anemones on the rocks and occasional crayfish underneath. Another good place for a seal encounter.
Not a good dive in any swell. Diveable from shore, but can be hard work getting through the bull kelp near shore. Nice colour on the walls further out with sea tulips, anemones and colourful seaweeds. Banded and scarlet wrasses most common. Crayfish scarce and usually small.
Spy Glass Point
Very exposed to any large swells and strong winds off the sea. Usually some current and often some lift even on a calm day. Nice area with a few crayfish and colourful invertebrate walls. Schools of small kahawai around the top and spotties, wrasses, butterfish and blue cod.