This seaside settlement is a winding 2.5 hour drive from Christchurch, 1.5 hours from Blenheim and only 2 hours from Picton. With your free one-way car rental provided by Transfercar, getting here is literally a breeze! No longer just a pit stop for peeps travelling between CHCH and Picton, Kaikoura is a top destination for international visitors.
New Zealand’s Sea World
Kaikoura is infamous for its wealth of marine activities. From stalking whales to swimming with dolphins, we’ve got all the sea creatures you need and more! Hey tough guy, why not try catching your own dinner with one of the local fishing tours? Or try scuba diving mad reefs with local dive operators, some of the best and most experienced in the country? If you’re fit enough, kayak out and enjoy the exquisite beauty of our Peninsula or hit the waves on your surfboard. But, if you’re more comfortable on solid ground, there’s plenty to do on land.
Take a Hike
If you want to see the amazing snow dusted Kaikoura Ranges, walk the shore or get lost in the native bush, you can take leisurely thirty minute strolls or half day hikes with the local tour operators. That big mountain range you saw looming in the background while you were flirting with whales has an overnight hut if you’re feeling adventurous enough! The beach walks can take you to NZ Fur Seal colonies but don’t touch! This isn’t a Disney movie! They bite! Also on offer is quad biking and horse trekking. It’s all here in Kaikoura.
Kai in Kaikoura
It’s no accident that the Maori word for food ‘kai’ is found in the name of this delicious city. Your New Zealand cuisine experience is incomplete without enjoying iconic seafood dishes such as grouper, cod, mussels, paua and the God of the Sea: Crayfish! All hail the mighty Cray! Kaikoura’s restaurants have oysters, scallops and whitebait available in season for your belly. On the first Saturday of October since 1995, Kaikoura holds a seafood festival called Seafest, a taste, sight and sound extravaganza for those who enjoy great food and a good time! If you’re not into seafood or you’re deathly allergic to it, Kaikoura has options. From cheap and cheerful takeaways to upmarket restaurants, there’s a wide range of meal choices to cater to any palette. Bon Appetite!
You’ll find the most unique accommodation at Hapuku Lodge. Remember the tree houses of your youth? Well, forget them, because you ain’t never seen a tree house like this before! Nested at 30 feet above the ground in the canopy of native Manuka grove, each of these spectacular Tree Houses has mind-blowing views of Kaikoura’s dramatic mountains and Pacific coastline. These trees come in one bedroom or family size and are favourites for honeymooners, couples and families looking for an unforgettable tree top stay.