Swimming, kayaking or watching the dolphins, seals and albatross is a popular Kaikōura activity. Very rarely in New Zealand you can get such a first hand marine wildlife experience where you get this close for a once in a lifetime experience.
There are a number of local operators who offer the chance to get into the ocean with the local dolphin pod or herd of seals. While out in the sea you will also see the local seabirds. There are daily trips to the local seabirds nesting areas and a chance to observe the albatross when they come ashore.