Moving on, from Picton down the east coast definitely a must see stop over is Kaikoura Peninsula. Located between the mountains of the southern alps and the majestic Pacific Ocean, the little town of Kaikoura houses about 1 million sea activities. You can go whale watching, seal swimming, penguin meeting or have an encounter with the Albatros birds around the peninsula.
For the budget backpackers, like me, the peninsula offers a great walking route around the coast. On the north east edge, by far the touristy point, a seal colony is located. Thus most people stop there to watch all the seals lying around on the rocks and chilling out. Definitely recommended as well, but you might not see a seal in between all those people over there.
Continuing onward around the peninsula is a walkway which should take you about 3 hours return from the city (make it 4 with a few decent stopovers) which offers views of more seals and all the bird colony on the eastern side of the coast.
The panorama of Kaikoura is especially impressive, if you see it in winter, because in summer, most of the snow is melted from the mountains in the back. Check this out. Even though you might still be able to see some snow on the tops. If you travel the south island's east coast, definitely a must do stop!