Kaikoura and Dolphin Lodge


Our campus, which is named Dolphin Lodge, is located in the town of Kaikoura, which is two and a half hours north of Christchurch and two hours south of Picton. It was given this name by the previous owner because you can sit on the deck and sometimes see dolphins frolicking in the bay below. While to the west is the Pacific Ocean, to the east and running north and south is the rise of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Range. As a peninsula, the coastal waters that surround Kaikoura are teeming with marine life, specifically mammals such as whales, dolphins and seals as well as an array of seabirds.  In Maori, the name Kaikoura means “meal of crayfish”; “kai” translates to food and “koura” meaning crayfish.   

Just a block away is the Kaikoura town center where students can find cafés, laundry facilities, and shops. The town has a resident population of about 3,500 people, yet annually nearly two million visitors come through Kaikoura. A short bike ride away there are trailheads for the numerous peaks that surround Kaikoura, or simply step on the nearby trial that will tour you around the peninsula's coast. The ocean provides opportunities for a variety of water sports including kayaking, paua and crayfish diving, fishing, paddle boarding and surfing.

The Dolphin Lodge houses the student's rooms, bathrooms, classroom, kitchen, dining room, library and lounge. In general, enrollment each semester ranges from 10-18 students, who, along with program staff, all live on campus--although some staff live in a church manse right next door. Each room contains 2 or 3 twin beds, or bunks. Storage space is limited to a shared wardrobe, and a few drawers for each student. The lounge, dining room, and classroom provide additional places for relaxation and work. Two patios, one upstairs and one downstairs, provide gorgeous views of the ocean and the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range. The backyard is a great space to hang out, dry laundry and enjoy a great view, or get in to gardening

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