• ABOUT
    KAIKŌURA

Kaikōura is a picturesque coastal town located north of Christchurch, that’s perfect for coastal walks and exploring ocean wildlife. It’s an easy day trip, but with so much to see and do, you really should make it an overnight stay – there’s lots of accommodation, from B&Bs to the 4-star Sudima. Its rocky shoreline is home to the New Zealand fur seal, and where you’ll see them leisurely sunning themselves on the coastal drive in and out of town. Known for its abundant wildlife, dolphin and sperm whale populations, there’s plenty of opportunities to get out on the water or up in the air to watch these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.

The Kaikōura peninsula extends into the sea south of the town, and the resulting current flow brings an abundance of marine life from nearby Hikurangi Trench. The name ‘Kaikōura’ means ‘To eat crayfish’ (‘kai’- to eat, ‘koura’ – crayfish) and the crayfish industry is a major contributor to the economy of the region. You simply can’t pass through Kaikōura without tucking into a plate of crayfish!

The Kaikōura Ranges are truly spectacular. Two parallel ranges of mountains in the northeast, they run along the Alpine Fault and are seen as the northernmost extension of the Southern Alps. Covered in thick, pure white snow in winter, sometimes the tips of the ranges still show a dusting of snow over summer.

Getting to Kaikōura

Kaikōura is an easy drive, 2.5-hours North of Christchurch or 2 hours South of Blenheim along pretty State Highway 1 coastal road. Daily coach transport is also available through InterCity and the spectacular Coastal Pacific train, that links Christchurch and Picton, stops daily in Kaikōura in high season. Or for a little luxury, fly in with South Pacific Helicopters.

Where to eat in Kaikōura

There are plenty of shops to explore and you’re spoilt for choice with breakfast, lunch and dinner venues that cater to all tastes and budgets. Restaurants come in and out of vogue, so we recommend checking out review sites, like Trip Advisor and Zomato.com for the latest feedback.

A few favourites of ours include:
Flo & Co – serving great coffee and food daily, and right next door to our Kaikōura base
Black Rabbit Pizza – great casual place amazing pizzas and burgers.
Karaka Lobster – you can’t miss its giant rooftop crayfish, right next to the beach.
The Pier Hotel & Restaurant – a real favourite. Good Cantabrian food, and great people.
Nins Bin – crayfish cooked in garlic butter by the roadside in an old school caravan. A Kaikōura legend

There’s simply too much to see, do, eat, drink or experience for us to list it all here. The official Destination Kaikōura website is a great place to learn more about Kaikoura and to check out what’s on.

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EcoZip Kaikoura

  • We had not been on a zip wire before this trip. EcoZip staff were very welcoming and very professional. We were well prepared for the zip wires and our guides did a great job making sure we were all set before each run. The walk back to the centre with some information about the local flora and fauna was a great addition. We would thoroughly recommend EcoZip.

    David Clarke Tutukaka, NZ

  • Wow, that’s an amazing day full of discovery and incredible native bush. Loved the zipline! You guys rock.

    Mike McVey Gisborne, NZ

  • We had the best time ever! The instructors were very friendly and made sure that we were all safe.
    The zip lines all had spectacular views. Overall it was amazing!!

    Grace E Paihia, NZ

  • Great staff, fun, also enjoyed the short bush walk back up the hill afterwards. Good emphasis on safety.

    whattosay Wanaka, NZ

  • This was a terrific experience, I screamed all the way down all three zip lines. Would definitely recommend it. Brilliant, thank you.

    K Gibbons Manly, Australia

  • We had not been on a zip wire before this trip. EcoZip staff were very welcoming and very professional.

    We were well prepared for the zip wires and our guides did a great job making sure we were all set before each run. The walk back to the centre with some information about the local flora and fauna was a great addition. We would thoroughly recommend EcoZip.

    Adam NZ

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