Walking tracks in and around Kaikoura
The breath-taking scenery of Kaikōura is best explored on foot with a great variety of coastal walks. Enjoy the rugged landscape whilst spotting marine life.
Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway
Time: 5 mins - 3hrs
Start from the car-park at South Bay or Point Kean. The track crosses the peninsula’s clifftop, with excellent views of the Seaward Kaikōura Range, ocean and coastline, to South Bay. It returns to the township via South Bay and Toms Track. Alternatively, during low tide, some of the walk can be completed along the shoreline. Observe seals and seabirds, explore historic pā and whaling sites and enjoy clifftop views of the sea and mountains. Suitable for families, the whole walkway takes three hours but you can also explore a range of shorter tracks.
Time: 45 mins return
Start location: 10 minutes drive from Kaikōura township starts at the base of Mt Fyffe carpark.
An interesting loop through an unusual forest with a number of large hinau trees. There are also many mahoe, putaputaweta, broadleaf, tree fuchsia, and pigeonwood. For a contrast in vegetation, the track passes through a stand of kanuka. Classified as a 'walking track', the Hinau Track is well-formed and suitable for families, however, there is an unbridged stream that in normal conditions is easy to navigate.
Time: 1-8 hours return
Superb views over the Kaikōura plains and peninsula reward those who climb Mt Fyffe. On a clear day, the view at higher levels includes the Banks Peninsula and the North Island. From Mt Fyffe carpark follow the 4WD road up the mountain's long south-west ridge. The road goes right to the summit; a return journey of about 8 hours.
Those wanting a shorter journey could go as far as Mt Fyffe Hut (5 hours return) or the lookout point near a firepond, which is just an hour above the carpark. The Spaniard Spur Route offers a steeper alternative route to the upper mountain via the Kowhai River.