A video of the neat places to visit in Kaikoura.

Find the best places to eat, drink, shop, and more in Kaikōura with our guide. 

Home to abundant marine life and hard-to-beat mountain-to-sea landscapes, Kaikōura is a true natural wonderland.

Recent years have seen Kaikōura go through some true hardships, especially in the aftermath of the 2016 earthquake, which was the largest recorded seismic event in New Zealand. The Kaikōura earthquake left access to and from the town cut off for weeks, with travel slowed down for months after, and permanently changed the rugged coastline.

Though times have been tough on the South Island’s east coast, the people of Kaikōura have found the resilience to move forward and create new ways to bring life to their much-loved home base. They’ve learned to roll with what Mother Nature throws their way and carry on. Made up of a tight-knit community, the residents of Kaikōura are real doers. Most of the business owners have multiple ventures on the go, are invested in their town, and love it with passion.

These days the Kaikōura township is home to a number of interesting cafés and restaurants, many of which celebrate the local hunter-gatherer culture. It’s constantly evolving and attracting more visitors day by day. New and renewed retail outlets strive to match the offerings of bigger cities, and both land and sea-based activities are aplenty.

The coastal highway, which snakes both south and north of Kaikōura, has gone through an enormous re-development and now boasts stunning, culturally significant artworks along with generous stop-in-bays where you can take in the artwork, the beauty of the coastline, and the seals that laze on the rocks, their colonies meters away.

Blessed with stunning scenery, world-famous for the varied marine life, rich in delicacies such as crayfish and other seafood, and home to some of the best surf on the South Island, it's no wonder Kaikōura is a favourite holiday destination for both New Zealanders and visitors alike.


12 hours Kaikōura

Beach and mountains in Kaikōura.

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

New Zealand’s Top Hotels For Unforgettable Staycations

A massive red 'HOTEL' sign on a wall.

Forget the stale hotel stereotypes; New Zealand's staycation scene is flourishing with bold character and unrivalled charm.

Kaikōura’s best accommodation: Eight of the finest spots to rest your head in this coastal region

Wooden apartments set behind a swimming pool on a sunny day.

Kaikōura offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, marine wonders and warm hospitality. No matter if you seek a luxury resort, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a low key camping ground, our list of accommodations embodies the essence of Kaikōura's charm.

Whale tales and seaside adventures: Kid friendly activities in Kaikōura

Kids playing mini golf with their parents on a sunny day.

Looking for things to do with the kids in Kaikōura? You've come to the right place.

A Self-Guided Storytelling Tour of Kaikōura

A view of a tall sculpture in Kaikoura at sunset.

Where rugged mountains meet waves crashing along a spectacular, rocky coastline presided over by diverse colonies of marine life, is the picturesque town of Kaikōura.

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Esses Wine Company

A man and woman smiling to camera in a vineyard on an autumn day.
Place Kaikōura
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Nestled next to the foothills of the Kaikōura ranges with stunning views of Mt Fyffe and beyond, Esses Wine Company’s vineyard might just sit in one of the most...


Two plates of food on a table.
Place Kaikōura
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Hiku sits directly at the water's edge in the heart of Kaikōura. The restaurant, along with the Sudima Hotel it shares the space with, opened its doors in September 2022.

Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway

Sandy bay with cliffs on Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway, Kaikōura.
Place Kaikōura
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The Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway has it all; the wild ocean, rugged cliff tops and mountain views capped with snow throughout winter, and an abundance of marine wildlife.

Mt Fyffe Distillery

Hand holding a bottle of Shearwater Gin from Mt Fyffe Distillery, Kaikōura.
Place Kaikōura
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On the foothills of Mt Fyffe, Kaikōura, you’ll stumble across one of New Zealand’s smallest nano gin distilleries, Mt Fyffe Distillery.

Get your Pocket Guide for Kaikōura

A photo of the latest Kaikoura pocket guide sitting on a table next to coffee and pastries.

Find the best places to eat, drink, shop, and more in Kaikōura with our guide. 

The Store Kekerengu

View of the counter at The Store Kekerengu, Kaikōura.
Place Kaikōura
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A top stop spot on the drive from Kaikōura to Marlborough, The Store Kekerengu provides some of the best cafe scenery and incomparable sea views.

Slam Club

Customers having a beer at Slam Club, Kaikōura.
Place Kaikōura Editor's Pick
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Famous for its toasted sandwiches, Slam Club is the favourite destination for foodies passing through town.

Middle Hill MTB

Man doing little jump on his mountain bike.
Place Kaikōura Editor's Pick
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For the ultimate adrenalin fix.

Hapuku Lodge

Dessert with pear on the table at Hapuku Lodge. .
Place Kaikōura
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Your destination for luxurious accommodation and one of the finest dining experiences in the region.

The Pier Hotel

Exterior view of The Pier Hotel.
Place Kaikōura
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A classic Kiwi pub and restaurant housed within an iconic nineteenth century hotel.

Strawberry Tree Kaikōura

Man standing at the bar with his children at Strawberry Tree.
Place Kaikōura
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A quirky Irish Bar and live music venue serving up some of the best grub in town.

The Mayfair Arts and Culture Kaikōura

Bright pink exterior of The Mayfair.
Place Kaikōura
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Inspiring people to use their creative thinking.

Nins Bin

Exterior view of Nin' Bin.
Place Kaikōura

The classic Kaikōura destination for seafood.

Sime's Kitchen

French toast with bananas and figs.
Place Kaikōura Editor's Pick
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Be prepared to be delighted.

Cultural Artwork Package

Steps up to a Māori pouwhenua.
Place Kaikōura Editor's Pick

View stunning cultural artworks that tell the rich history of Kaikōura.

Kaikōura Seafood BBQ

Takeaway box with cooked crayfish dish inside.
Place Kaikōura

One the most affordable spots in town for getting your hands on world famous crayfish.

Karaka Lobster

Lobsters on display in the fridge at Karaka Lobster.
Place Kaikōura

Impossible to miss.