The Kaikoura Peninsula is located in the northeast of New Zealand’s South Island. It protrudes five kilometres into the Pacific Ocean. The town of Kaikoura is located on the north shore of the peninsula. The peninsula has been settled by Maori for approximately 1000 years, and by Europeans since the 1800s, when whaling operations began off the Kaikoura Coast. Since the end of whaling in 1922 whales have been allowed to thrive and the region is now a popular whale watching destination.
The Kaikoura Peninsula is made up of limestone and mudstone which have been deposited, uplifted and deformed throughout the Quaternary. The peninsula is situated in a tectonically active region bounded by the Marlborough Fault System.