Kaikoura, NZ’s ‘Seal Bashing Capital,’ Now Famous for Speared Elephant Seal…updated

Kaikoura elephant seal injured

Perversely, the spear gunned Elephant Seal became an attraction for locals.

An injured Elephant seal has drawn a crowd of onlookers at Goose Bay, Kaikoura.

The seal crawled ashore with a large open wound on its back, probably caused by a spear-gun attack (although marine tourism bodies will be keen to downplay that aspect of the story). Read “Elephant seal with speargun wound attracts crowds in Kaikoura” from Stuff.co.nz.

“…The more than 3-metre long seal appears to have been shot in the back with a speargun, an incident thought to have influenced its decision to make a rare appearance on dry land on this region of the South Island coast.

People travelling along State Highway 1 at Goose Bay, 16km south of Kaikoura stopped to watch – and in some cases touch – the seemingly placid mammal…”

injured kaikoura elephant seal

An onlooker tentatively edges towards the injured elephant seal


The Kaikoura coastline already has a dubious reputation for senseless seal and seabird attacks.

Kaikoura view

Kaikoura. Bleak and uncompromising. Smoke drifts over homes at sunrise (image supplied).

In March last year dozens of sea birds were found shot to death on Kaikoura’s wharf after someone lured them with food and shot them as they ate. As if that wasn’t sufficient their killer then drove over their injured and dying bodies. That wasn’t the first time birds had been slaughtered on the wharf, there were two other incidents in July 2011, plus others in previous years.

Slaughtered gulls on Kaikoura’s wharf

In July of the previous year, fur seals were shot in Kaikoura. An adult female and a young pup were found dead with large gunshot wounds to their heads at Ohau Point, it followed the clubbing of 26 seals at the Ohau Point colony in December 2010 (see pictures below). It is believed the seals and their pups were killed to protect local fish stocks.

Seal cubs bashed to death Ohau Point Seals killed Ohau Point

But it’s not just the marine life that gets brutalized. Humans are also preyed on too. The area is extremely popular with hunters during the annual “roar” and local landowners have asked for hunting to be banned near to public roads.

“…Shooting a firearm on a public road – as long as it is not endangering lives – is actually legal, but farmers in the Puhi Puhi and Blue Duck Valleys north of Kaikoura do not think it should be.

And they think a ban would crack down on poaching, which they say only gets worse in the coming weeks going into the roar (the deer breeding season) after first frost at the end of March and start of April…source (March 2015)

Kaikoura New Zealand Spearfishing

As the video below shows, the waters off Kaikoura are popular with spearfishers, and seals. Use this link https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kaikoura+spearfishing to find more videos like this one

Raft hunting video on the Clarence River, Kaikoura – chamois, pigs and goats

An example of the blood sports practiced in Kaikoura may be seen in this YouTube video, viewer discretion is advised. You may be forgiven for thinking sections of the film bear a resemblance to scenes from Deliverance

Alcohol and guns

Unfortunately and alcohol and guns never mix, as this except from a article from March 2012 demonstrates.

There was a firearm incident at around 5.15am last Saturday morning in Kaikoura.

Police Sargent Barry Hansen said a man pulled a firearm on another man and “chased him round town” he didn’t have any information as to whether the two men were known to each other.

Senior constable, Andy Grant, in his weekly column for the Kaikoura Star wrote movingly about how a friend of his was killed in a tragic hunting accident…

Edit Jan 2016: Since this article was written the police’s weekly column in the Kaikoura Star has been discontinued.

Maybe it’s time to tone down blood sports in the area, and live up to the reputation the town has wildlife conservation? Not only will the animals be protected but the town’s name and international reputation may also get a boost.

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21 thoughts on “Kaikoura, NZ’s ‘Seal Bashing Capital,’ Now Famous for Speared Elephant Seal…updated

  1. Hi Max/KD I spent one night in Kaikoura and that was enough for me, I am glad I don’t live there. I just looked up the Trip Advisor site and this is the first discussion I came across.

    “Kaikoura vs. Picton/Marlborough Sounds”
    “I was planning to spend one day/night in Kaikoura for the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, repack, and ride the train on to Picton for two days (one to do a cruise/hike combo on Queen Charlotte track; one to do Blenheim area wineries). But now, I am thinking — why not just stay in Kaikoura? It looks like a beautiful area. We can do several hikes, a bike trip in the flats, a vineyard trip, and maybe even still ride the train to Picton for a half day cruise. Or ride the train to Picton and back to Kaikoura, just to see the scenery on the ride. I feel like I don’t have time to do the Sounds justice on this trip anyhow. Maybe some day I will get back to NZ. Does this seem like a reasonable choice — just to settle in for 4 nights in Kaikoura and (mostly or maybe totally) miss the Sounds? Thanks for your thoughts.”

    Re: Kaikoura vs. Picton/Marlborough Sounds 17 March 2015, 12:24
    I think Picton offers better scenery, better walks and is a far more charming town. 4 nights Kaikoura is 3 too many in my opinion 🙂
    Re: Kaikoura vs. Picton/Marlborough Sounds 17 March 2015, 14:13
    I would agree but go one step further & suggest that 3 N out in the Sounds would be even better than Picton.
    Re: Kaikoura vs. Picton/Marlborough Sounds 17 March 2015, 14:18
    I think 4 nights in either Picton or Kaikoura is too many. But I do agree with zhuhai that to stay a couple of night in the queen charlotte sound would be recommended – lochmara lodge, punga cove, furneaux resort are all in fantastic locations. Then a couple of nights in Picton and do a winery tour for a day. Or a couple of nights in Kaikoura and a couple of nights in the queen charlotte at somewhere like Lochmara would be close to brillant.
    Re: Kaikoura vs. Picton/Marlborough Sounds 17 March 2015, 17:39
    Lochmara is nice…. but this would be my choice http://bayofmanycoves.co.nz/
    Re: Kaikoura vs. Picton/Marlborough Sounds 17 March 2015, 18:05
    Marlborough Sounds definitely – tramping, swim with dolphins, check out the plentiful wildlife, mailboat or other boating tours, just to name a few things worth doing there not to mention the pristine environment and scenery –my pick for sure. Plenty of lodges and other accommodations in and around the area too as compared to Kaikoura. Cheers

    This was the OP’s response to their advice

    Re: Kaikoura vs. Picton/Marlborough Sounds

    18 March 2015, 3:40
    Wow. Rarely is Trip Advisor input a game changer for me, but this time it was!
    Based on your advice (combined with our disinclination to unpack for avoidable one-night stays), we have decided to skip Kaikoura altogether on this trip. We will see some of the coast from the train traveling from Christchurch to Picton……
    Thanks, NZ experts. I really appreciate your help!



    There’s not a shred of an envy problem going on there and I’m at a loss to see why you would think Kaikoura is something to be envied, when there are plainly better places in New Zealand. The general consensus is not to stay there, or remain for one night because any thing more would be a waste of time. It must suck to live there, you have my deepest sympathies.

    Case closed.

  2. Prospective migrants: please note the type of behavior/response that you can expect from NZ inhabitants as evidenced by one of the respondents above.
    They can be quite mean and aggressive, show little or no empathy, are usually repetitive and boring and little or no imagination. This is the type of unprovoked passive/aggressive behavior that is difficult to understand and predict. They may feel that they’ve been provoked just by your presence in their country, This stems from a deep seated insecurity that all of the hype MAY NOT BE TRUE and they may be in a country that is not all it is cracked up to be.
    e2nz has done you a big favor in allowing some of this through just so you can see what you could expect on a regular basis if you were to migrate to nz.

    • “This stems from a deep seated insecurity that all of the hype MAY NOT BE TRUE and they may be in a country that is not all it is cracked up to be.” Got it in one. When people are trapped in a place this is the last thing they want to contemplate.

      Then why does Kaikoura have so many tourists each and every summer? Trip Advisor raves about the place. Looks to me like you guys have a little envy problem going on.

      [Note: The above was written by K.D. using a cryptostorm VPN He’s done this in the past and we know he places great store in sites like Trip Advisor. Admin]

  3. I took a Kaikoura whale watching excursion while on holiday in NZ. The sea was choppy and the air cold. I bought some Kaikoura Cracker pills from the local chemist but they didn’t work and I spent the whole trip throwing up.

    The second part of my holiday was spent in Australia.The Gold Coast whale watching tours are top notch and one has the many attractions of the famous seaside resort when one is finished messing about on the water. The beaches are fantastic and the kids had a great time, myself and my wife enjoyed the nightlife and the Broadbeach fine dining. But most of all…..it was warm and the people so friendly! Would totally do it again but never again Kaikoura.

    • Kaikoura’s beaches aren’t that great and not somewhere to take children. They’re mostly pebbles and the sea is dangerous to swim in. The beaches aren’t patrolled either, probably because people are expected to swim in the small lido (take my advice, don’t. It’s horrible). I think the whale watching tours are merely to keep the town alive, without them the place would fold overnight. I wish they’d do something about the animal abuse, having these repeated acts of violence against defenseless creatures is getting the town a bad name.

  4. Lol….well, you all got your knickers in a twist, didn’t ya? Effective troll…..is, well, effective, aye?

    Bahahahahahahahahahahaha. Losers.

    • He’s just posted a picture of Kaikoura to show how “beautiful” it is. It looks awful. Stark and barren is how I would describe it.

      Smoke belching out of the chimneys in winter is something I’ll never forget about New Zealand. Look at how all the low rise houses are huddled together on the coastal plain, considering the tsunami risk is so high there I’m surprised the council allowed the land to be developed.

  5. I visited Kaikoura last year with my family and frankly we were very disappointed. The town has a problem with traffic noise and the buildings are very shabby, which is such a stark contrast to the scenery. It is expensive to eat out and the food leaves a lot to be desired. Kaikoura is supposed to be famous for crayfish, I paid $50 for half a medium sized creature at Tuti’s and was very disappointed with an unremarkable meal. In addition to traffic noise and fumes the town has a problem with wood smoke pollution, which can be a problem if you’re asthmatic or enjoy the smell of clean air. Overall I’d say it was a non descript town with few redeeming features other than some mountains which are covered in cloud for most of the time. Seals and whales? you can see them anywhere and have a far more pleasant experience, IMO Kaikoura isn’t worth the time or the expense. Save your dollars for elsewhere.

    • I visited Kaikoura during a road trip of the South Island. The recommendation that I had received from a Kiwi was that the place was quaint and spectacularly beautiful. Unfortunately, the reality proved different when I arrived. The scenery was ok, but nothing spectacular. As for the town, it was not particularly aesthetically pleasing and empty. I can definitely sense that the place has an undercurrent of degenerates that mistreat defenceless children and animals.

      Considering all the wonderful places in the world and the enormous distances separating Kaikoura from the rest of the world, I think most people will have a better chance finding a lovely place to spend an afternoon or weekend away closer to home.

      • “an undercurrent of degenerates that mistreat defenceless children and animals.” This is the best description of Kaikoura I’ve heard in a long time.

  6. 5 years ago I visited Kaikoura with my family from overseas, my relatives called Kaikoura a dump and a place of no future at all

  7. I am quite sure prospective migrants will read these, that has been part of my personal motivation for continuing commenting, helps to vent a bit, also.
    The ones I was referring to not reading would be the locals/kiwis. A painful awaking or bury head. If you don’t admit you have a problem, you could be blissfully ignorant. The latter sounds more like what goes on in Kaikoura.

    • What Kaikoura needs, as told by the locals……

      Delwyn Summmerton (Kaikoura Food Company): “What does Kaikoura need? Kaikoura needs something to do here in the winter, and when the tourist boats don’t go out. We really need an aquatic centre, it would be something great for older people and babies, the whole family. It would be something that would keep people here for another night when there’s nothing to do, otherwise they get in the car and keep going. So the whole community would benefit.”

      Dean Counsell (Kaikoura Auto Centre):What does Kaikoura need? I don’t know, I kind of like it the way it is. Better roads? It needs a few more summers like we’ve just had. Plenty of local businesses going strong, everybody busy. We certainly don’t need any more earthquakes.

      CJ Rowlands (Caltex gas station) What does Kaikoura need? I think Kaikoura needs more people really, it needs to grow to be more interesting, keep people here. But it’s a great place, I don’t really want it to change, either.

      Balkar Singh (computer service company IT Pro) What does Kaikoura need? I think we should have some more shopping places like Farmers and some indoor activities like bowling so that there is something we can do when its wet. Its good for both locals and tourists. Also we might need to organise some sort of events more often – like sports tournaments for locals.

    • Well done. I’m clearly the only one reading your shit. How’s your “productive life” going? Lol.

    • Maybe they don’t read it because it all to close to reality for most. Can’t/don’t want to handle the truth.
      Sweep it under the carpet, harden up, she’ll be right.

    • Woman assaulted in Kaikoura 6/5/2015

      A woman has been assaulted while walking to a friend’s house in Kaikoura, police say.
      The woman in her 20s was walking alone under the rail bridge near Davidson Terrace on Monday night about 6pm when she was attacked.
      She was able to continue on to her friend’s house and the alarm was raised.
      Police have been making inquiries in the area and would like to speak to anyone who was walking in the Churchill St and Davidson Tce areas between 6pm and 7pm on Monday night.
      Sergeant Matt Boyce, of Kaikoura, said the incident was a reminder for people to take precautions when out walking after dark.
      “With the daylight hours getting shorter people may need to consider altering their walking routes to ensure they stay in well lit areas,” he said.


      Notice how women are told to take precautions if they go out after dark, like somehow she was responsible for her attack? Next time she’ll know better and take her man with her aye? Kaikoura has such a problem with crime.

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