12 hours Kaikōura

Think you can't experience a taste of Kaikōura in 12 hours? We can prove you wrong. We’ve gathered a neat package of activities, delicious food, scenic spots, and great entertainment that can all be squeezed within a day trip to this seaside town. 

Outdoor seating area at The Pier Hotel.

The best things to see, eat, and do in Kaikōura

There’s no time to be wasted when new experiences await, so rise and shine with the sun – watching it pop up from behind the ocean it is not a bad way to start the day.

Morning

Stretch the Legs with Peninsula Walk

Kaikōura

The Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway has it all; ocean vibes, clifftop and mountain views, and of course an abundance of marine wildlife. You can drive to Point Kean car park and wander around the rocks in seal search mode or explore the range of shorter tracks from here. For those looking for more of a expedition, tackle the walk all the way from the town centre to South Bay (which takes just over three hours).

Photo credit: Jess Snoek

Seal lying on rocks in Kaikōura by Jess Snoek.

Afternoon

Head North for some Crayfish and Coastal Artwork Package

SH1 Kaikōura

It's time to hit the road to find some cray and culture (and you're in luck as this is one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand!). Post-earthquake, there has been the addition of over 20 roadside sites showcasing cultural artworks that tell the rich local history. The artworks are dotted along the 60km of road from Oaro to Clarence. It is well worth heading north to check out the sites Paparoa and Rākautara as at the latter you'll discover Nin's Bin (more info on that below). Other worthy stops include famed surf spots Mangamanu and Meatworks.

Kaikōura Coastal Artwork Package.

Evening

Words by: Petra Nyman

Photography by: Nancy Zhou 

All Guides