Kaikoura Travel Guide

  • Hills and calm sea south of the township.
    Hills and calm sea south of the...
    by Kakapo2
  • Kaikoura
    by janaaroundtheworld
  • Kaikoura
    by MFAMILY

Kaikoura Highlights

  • Pro
    fishandchips profile photo

    fishandchips says…

     The views, the Whales, the fish and chips! 

  • Con
    fishandchips profile photo

    fishandchips says…

     Hard to find a car park 

  • In a nutshell
    Lozza_9 profile photo

    Lozza_9 says…

     Animals everywhere!!! 

Kaikoura Things to Do

  • Whale Watching in Comfort and Style

    Kaikoura's Whale Watch is a great way to get off the shore and see some unique wildlife. Great for kids and adults, they offer many tours throughout the day and have good, competent and knowledgeable crews.Visit their website for tickets and information. Adults, $145. Children, $60.Phone: +64 3 319 6767

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  • Whale Watching

    Is the place to be for Whales, walking to the coast also possible you'll find some of the Fur Seals lying on the rock

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  • Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

    We walked this about 12 km path in about 5 hours, taking our time. From the i-Site, follow the coast (The Esplanade) and the distinctive marker posts. After Point Kean, the track leaves the road and with a few steps we walked the cliffs. Superb views, mountains, ocean, limestone beaches and landscape. We didn´t see many seals, but we had had our...

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  • Hinau Track

    An easy, short walk (30 - 45 min) through a dense forest with a number of large hinua trees. You cross a small river twice, walking on either side. The access is from the Mt Fyffe car park, well sign posted. After the ling, strait roads, a few km of winding dirt road. The i-Site has a leaflet abot the walk(s).

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  • Helicopter Whale Watching

    KAIKOURA WHALE WATCHINGWe chose on this day, to do the helicopter whalewatch, rather than the boat version. We were not disappointed and found it met our expectations as well as our needs.We could see the boats below us hitting the waves and the ride looked a little rough, so the helicopter ride was more comfortable especially as I personally...

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  • Dolphin and Albatross Encounters

    Update November 2011Holy moly! I have just seen that I have only talked about it in the travel forum but I have missed to give you an update on the Dolphin Encounter experience I had in February.Well and truly: This was one of the best things I have done in New Zealand. My friend did the swim with dolphins thing, I was happy to watch and take...

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Kaikoura Hotels

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Kaikoura Restaurants

  • Worse Dining Experience In NZ

    Dined at craypot on saturday 16/03/13. Paid $33 for Ribeye steak ordered medium rare, the place was almost empty save for one other table of diners and I was dining alone, It took 50 minutes for me to get my meal, what turned up was not ribeye but a thick cut of sirloin, first cut of the meat and it was apparent something was off, I believe this...

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  • Good Food but Embarrassing Service

    When we were at The Craypot in Kaikoura we had such bad service that we wondered if we should leave without having had our meal, instead my husband took notes and passed them on to the manager who apologised and assured us that 98% of the costumers were happy, but they would try to improve and make the remaining 2% of costumers happy, too.It was...

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  • Mussels, mussels and more mussels

    The Mussel Boys is a great restaurant, one of my world favourites in fact.As the name suggests, they specialise in mussell dishes, and thats pretty much it, but you'd be amazed at the number of ways they manage to do that! This is a great place to enjoy New Zealands large and succulent green-lip mussell. The name comes from the edging of green...

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  • the Craypot

    great feel about the place, you can sit inside or al fresco..very friendly staff, they know what they doing..good place, great coffee too..and the plate cleaning is for free :-))oh yes...take away is possible too Crayfishbut Chicken, Pasta and Steak alsovegetarien on request!I had the Mussel Chowder which was yummy

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  • Crayfish!

    We visited specifically to eat crayfish, and that's what we did.Pretty good if you ask me!It was about $50 for half a cray, but worth it.

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  • Langosta / Lobster

    La langosta es la especialidad de Kaikorua , la puedes comer en los chiringuitos que hay por la calle o irte a restaurantes todo lo sofisticados que quieras Si puedes date el caprichoLobster is the specialty of Kaikorua, you can eat it in the bars there are in the street or go to restaurants as sophisticated as you wantIf you can indulge yourself

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Kaikoura Transportation

  • A good day trip from Christchurch

    The drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura should take you about 2 hours depending on the traffic and how fast you can get through the hills. The road from the Hunderlee Bridge to Oaro is very windy so be prepared. Once through the Hunderlees and onto the coast at Oaro you get a very nice drive beside the East Coast beach and rocky coastline that...

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  • sweet blue Railway Station

    go to the Info Center or Railway Station an ask for the Transcoastal..,Prices can change in a year or two..once daily passage to Christchurch or Pictoncompare at the website below

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  • Map

    such showing what you can expect...klick on the pick.one little piece of advice, drive through Waihau, the roads are seald now and the scenic drive is just what the doctor ordered

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Kaikoura Shopping

  • Merino Clothing

    The Global Culture store offers the whole Global Culture collection. Global Culture is a NZ brand making clothing mainly with merino wool. The store owner is delicious and very patient. She won't be upset if you may want to try all the assortment! Merino clothes.

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  • Stop To Smell The Lavender

    Try to make a stop at the Lavender Farm while visiting Kaikoura. Located on the property of Dylan's Country Cottages (B&B), the shop has wonderful gifts. We stopped on our way out of town, and my friend and I both bought all kinds of wonderful products. Plenty of lotions and potions for skin, bath, and some that just smell good.We spent so much...

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  • town arts/crafts galleries

    On the left, another Maori art gallery, with a trendy hair studio beside it. Both are in the heart of the main street, which you can walk in a few minutes (if the interesting shop windows don't distract you). The main part of the shopping street is concentrated just under the bridge, on both sides of the street, and ends with the Library and...

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Kaikoura Local Customs

  • The Kaikoura Seafest in October

    Since 1995 the Seafest is held in Kaikoura on the first Saturday in October each year. You cannot miss the location on the beachfront, the Takahanga Domain on the Esplanade. But you could miss out if you do not purchase your ticket well in advance.As Kaikoura is the town of the "Meal of Crayfish", so the translation of the Maori name, the festival...

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  • Local information

    The Visitor Centre also stocks a great range of local souvenirs. Other services include luggage storage, foreign currency exchange (weekends only), fax service, weather reports, comfy seats and continuous nature videos. Hours of Operation: Open Mon - Fri 9.00am-5.30pm, Sat & Sun 9.00am - 4.30pm, with extended opening hours during January -...

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  • Local Seafood Festival

    Pacifica Kaikoura SeafestIn OCTOBER on FIRST SATURDAY held annually in Kaikoura, New Zealand A unique festival, celebrating the bounty of the Kaikoura region. It offers an opportunity to sample delectable seafoods and beverages from all over the region. Entertainment provided

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Kaikoura Warnings and Dangers

  • violent Kaikoura

    My son is down that way today, I am darned worried just today in the New Zealand Herald I readReported incidents since November include two mob street bashings of visitors, a New Year's Day rape, an attempted abduction of a child and the killing of 23 protected fur seals which are a popular tourist drawcard. On Thursday there was a clash over drugs...

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  • Never Get between Seals and the Sea

    Getting between seals and the sea can become a special danger in the Kaikoura region where you have so many seals that you might not see them all. If you walk on the rocks beside SH1 you might happen not to see some seals as their furs are of a brownish colour very similar to the rocks they are lounging on. Sometimes you just walk around and...

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  • Be careful on the Roads

    The road leading into Kaikoura from Christchurch is very windy and you can get stuck behind campervans and trucks. There are few spots to pass on so some motorists can get rather frustrated and take risks that they wouldn't normally to get past slow vehicles. Passing lanes are being built north (near Clarence) of Kaikoura and a couple of long...

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Kaikoura What to Pack

  • swimsuit..a must!

    well backpack is good,duffelbag what ever takes your fancy and depends for ho long you'll stay in Kaikoura it could be 4 season in a day, NZ is like that, a jumper will do no harm lots of that is realy a must, for a dip in the sea or pools..swimsuit, sandals for walking around and a good big towel. ..all toiletries you need for the shower...

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  • My Bag

    Good comfortable shoes is a must. An umbrella for rainy days. Hat / sunscreen is a must for sunny days. It's best to have enough as this is a small town, you might not be able to find what you usually use. If you do, it might be a little bit more expensive. It's best to carry enough batteries and film with you.

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  • Kaikoura Hotels

    43 Hotels in Kaikoura

    283 Reviews and Opinions

Kaikoura Off The Beaten Path

  • Inland Kaikoura Ranges to...

    Hanmer Springs..a great roadtrip and when you plan some time, you'll find many good hiking tracks,or stop for fishing at the Waiau River. Skifields at Mt.Lyford are open from late July.then drive on to Hanmer Springs and relax in the Sulphur Pools. stay a nite, camping is good or book a room, the Heritage Hotel has all creature comfort waiting for...

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  • Ohau Point seal pups in summer

    About 27.5km north of Kaikoura, along the coast, you'll find Ohau Point - yet another in a pantheon of scenic SH1 viewpoints. In the early morning sun, we saw newly-born fur seal pups playing in the tidal pools, while the older generation lazed on their rocky perches. Aquatic vegetation swayed gently on the swells... All very relaxing!It is a...

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  • Bio-bonanza at Goose Bay

    Immediately to the south of a peninsula jutting into the Pacific Ocean, the sea floor drops away to tremendous depths up to 6,705m. This geological phenomenon is known as the Kaikoura Canyon - and it brings an area of high biological productivity within a stone's throw of Goose Bay...Goose Bay is situated about 17km south of Kaikoura on the coastal...

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Kaikoura Sports & Outdoors

  • The Crayfish Trail

    This annual event will be run on 18 November this year. The course is south of Kaikoura and accessed from State highway 1 before the Hunderlees. The full distance of the Kaikoura Coast Track is 43km with the Crayfish Trail being 25km of this. The run starts at Ngaroma and finishes at the Staging Post. The course is varied in its terrain including a...

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  • Bird watching

    There are boat trips which go out to take you to see seabirds (not sure if it's a colony on an island or just a group of them).But, even without taking one of these trips, we saw plenty of birds, so you can just go down to the pier and watch them, or down at the seals from the rocks you can see gulls, mollyhawks, small darting birds, and some kind...

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  • Whale watching, bird watching, penguins

    You can visit the office here to find out about the wildlife watching boat and helicopter trips (Warning: book well in advance, especially in summer, as they're really popular) All gear would be supplied for these.

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Kaikoura Favorites

  • The Seagull who Claims to Be a Fur Seal

    Ok, this is just for fun. But as the original intention of "General Tips" is to chat a bit about favourite things and fondest memories, this is surely one of them. And this is remarkable, as seagulls can be nasty, noisy and annoying birds, permanently screaming, squeaking, fighting and arguing about nearly everything. And they are absolutely weird...

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  • An interesting Drive

    The road between Oaro and Kaikoura is one of the more interesting coastal drives in the South Island. The road curves along beside the sea on one side and hills on the other. In several places the hills reach down and touch the sea so, with a bit of imagination, the hills have had holes knocked into them to allow easy passage.The sea shore you...

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  • The new Threat for Fur Seals

    -Once seal hunters killed thousands and thousands of seals on the Kaikoura coast. Now, as those animals’ population is thriving, there is a new threat. Fisherman are asking that the protection of seals should be removed because the seals compete with them for fish. The director of Talley’s Fisheries had even said that the “cute brown-eyed für...

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Explore Deeper into Kaikoura
Swimming with the Seals
Things to Do
Kaikoura-A worthy place for whale watching
Things to Do
Baby Seals playing in the Stream
Things to Do
Venados / Deers
Things to Do
Leones marinos / Sea Lions
Things to Do
Sin ballenas no hay dinero / No whales , no money
Things to Do
Whale watching
Things to Do
State Highway 1 from Picton to Kaikoura
Things to Do
Oahu Point seal colony
Things to Do
St. Peter’s Anglican Church
Things to Do
Our favourite Place for Food and Fudge
Restaurants
Sunset stroll along Kaikoura's beach
Things to Do
Tramp along the peninsula
Things to Do
Fresh seafood on the BBQ
Restaurants
Whale Watch
Things to Do
Orient yourself from the Lookout
Things to Do
Whale watching
Things to Do
Crayfish Shops and Stalls
Things to Do
Kaikoura’s Connection to the World
Favorites
Kaikoura’s Whaling History
Favorites
A Chain of Tunnels
Favorites
Shaky Location
Favorites
Maori History and Tours
Favorites
Make the Seagulls Fly
Favorites
Point Kean - The Town's Seal Colony
Things to Do
There is More than Wildlife: Historic places
Things to Do
Swim with Seals - or just Watch them
Things to Do
Fabulous Walks and Hiking Tours
Things to Do
Dolphins and Birds are free with Whale Watch Tour
Things to Do
Whale Watch Kaikoura
Things to Do
Awesome Whale Watching
Things to Do
Ohau Point: A Haven for Seals and Seal Watchers
Things to Do
Glenstrae Farm 4 Wheeler Adventures
Things to Do
Swim With Dolphins
Things to Do
Enjoy The View
Restaurants
Kaikoura Winery
Things to Do
The Little Laundromat - 39 Beach Rd
Favorites
Go for a walk
Things to Do
Visit a Seal Colony
Things to Do
Swim with Seals
Things to Do
Map of Kaikoura

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