• self guided walk
  • 1 night motel, 2 nights farm cottage
  • 2 Dinners
  • 2 Lunches
  • 2 Breakfasts


4 daysfrom


Trip Code: GKT

Trip highlights

  • Walk exposed headlands, undulating grazing land, native forest lands and narrow canyons
  • Marvel at geological influences that have shaped the Kaikoura coast
  • Admire the results of award-winning and ongoing bush, riverbed and seashore conservation projects
  • Spot seals, dolphins, whales (in season) and many native birds
  • Share stories with second or third generation local residents

Begin by exploring the Kaikoura Peninsula, a loop walk that showcases the scenic beauty engulfing the small town situated midway between Picton and Christchurch on the east coast of the South Island. With a backdrop of steep mountains, often snow-capped, snippets of local history, and opportunities to spot a myriad of marine life such as seals, dolphins, whales and seabirds the walk is a perfect introduction to the region. Transfer south only a short distance and be immersed in a hinterland few people visit. Wide open spaces, isolated beaches, sea cliffs, hill tops, canyons and tracts of native vegetation rich with birdlife are all yours to enjoy at your own pace. Walking on private land, experience a unique wilderness where isolated farmland merges with forest conservation projects. This walk is the perfect short escape.


Make your own way to Kaikoura, situated roughly halfway between Picton and Christchurch on the east coast of the South Island. On arrival, check-in to your trip accommodation any time after 2:00pm. This pretty seaside town has a holiday atmosphere, with an extensive foreshore footpath, many eateries and bars, and plenty to do including cultural tours, whale watching, scenic flights, short walks or simply relaxing while taking in the view.

Meals:  Nil

You can enjoy a leisurely breakfast at one of the cafes this morning, and pick up some supplies in town before setting off on your walk. The Kaikoura Peninsula Walk is a loop track roughly following the coastline and its headlands, returning via the hilltops and a nature reserve to your starting point. With distinctive marker posts, it is easy to follow and takes you from sea level to cliff tops. Be sure to pause at each of the multiple viewpoints which provide excellent photo opportunities of the rugged Kaikoura Range, often snow-capped, and the picturesque hinterland behind the town. Informative interpretation panels at various locations along the way provide insight into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the region. There are optional side tracks to some of the rock platforms. Take some time there to watch birds and seals and explore the rock pools. (Keep an eye on the ocean as waves can catch you by surprise and take care to avoid disturbing any wildlife as birds are breeding over summer and seals can give you a nasty bite.) Allow three hours to comfortably complete the walk, including photo stops. You may like to linger and take a picnic lunch, or return to the township for a cafe lunch. If you do not have your own transport and have pre-booked a transfer with us, you will be transferred in the late afternoon to your cottage accommodation for tonight at Conway Flat.

Meals:  D

Once again the walking track begins at the front gate. Take your time today as there is a long stretch of beach to tread, with fascinating geological specimens from past eras. Buried tree trunks 8000 yrs old, fossilised crustacean tunnels, shells and layers of distinctive sediment are all visible. Looking out to sea, you might spot some marine life from the current era such as dolphins, whales or seals, the latter sometimes coming ashore to rest on the beach. Pass an ancient Maori campsite as you turn off the beach and climb to the cliff tops where sweeping views of the coastline await, from Banks Peninsula near Christchurch in the south to the Kaikoura Peninsula in the north where you stood yesterday. The track has several undulations from hereon, passing through gullies with huge protected old-growth native trees, crossing streams and winding through narrow canyons. Sleep tonight at another cosy farm cottage, lulled by the peace and quiet of the countryside.

Meals:  B,L,D

Hear some local stories this morning from one of the landowners while you are driven a short distance (about 20 mins) from the cottage to the start of today's walk. A steady ascent through pine forest then protected remnant beech and giant podacarp forest, where silver fern also grows, opens up as you reach a saddle in the ridgeline. The panoramic views in every direction from here are of mountains reaching the sea. You could be standing in a postcard. The route continues along the ridge with an optional scramble to Skull Peak summit. At 486m it is the highest point on the trail and while that does not seem very high, relative to the surrounding land it feels like you have your head in the clouds. The track winds its way back to sea level from here, crossing grazing land and passing through a conservation zone of native coastal bush. Arriving back at Ngaroma, where you started, around mid-afternoon (plan for around 3:00pm), your luggage awaits and trip arrangements end. Continue your onward travels from here, or return to Kaikoura with a pre-booked transfer (additional expense).

Meals:  B,L



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 1 night motel accommodation in Kaikoura (twinshare), with ensuite bathroom
  • 2 nights accommodation in farmstyle cottages based on multishare bunk rooms (2 single bunks per room) with shared bathrooms
  • Linen including sleeping sheet, duvet and towel
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners (pre-prepared for you to cook or heat up at your convenience)
  • Fully equipped kitchens in farmstyle cottages (Nights 2 & 3) including tea towels, dishwash liquid, cutlery, kettle, toaster, coffee plunger, pots, crockery, cooking utensils, fridge, electric cook tops, oven, microwave (Night 2 only)
  • Daily luggage transfer - 1 bag/pack per person plus 1 food box/bag per walking party, weight limit strictly 15kg per item
  • Information booklets and route maps
  • Secure car parking if self-driving
  • PLB - Personal Locator Beacon (must be returned as per instructions at the conclusion of the trip otherwise extra charges will apply)
  • Per person donation to the Trees for Travellers project (iwk.org.nz/trees-for-travellers)

  • Travel to/from Kaikoura before/after the trip
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and hiking snacks
  • Drinks other than water - good drinking water is available at each night's accommodation and at shelters along the track on Days 3 & 4
  • Transfers to/from the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway if not walking the full loop
  • Transfers to/from the Kaikoura Coast Walk - we can arrange this for you if you are not self-driving. Additional costs will apply.
  • Optional activities, extras or upgrades
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Excess luggage storage or cartage (available for additional cost - please request in advance)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface




INTRODUCTORY - GRADE 3 These trips involve walking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. Our introductory trips are not ‘easy’ trips and you will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. Care needs to be taken as there are some sections that are slippery when wet. Suggested preparation: We recommend 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (fast walking, jogging or cycling) three times a week. Hill or stair walking with a 5-7kg daypack is also highly recommended at least once a week for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. Walking in variable weather conditions is advisable. During the walking stages you will need to carry your daily requirements such as water, lunch, spare clothing and personal items.

Departure dates

Daily from 1 Oct to 30 April


Transfers between Kaikoura and the Coast Track on Day 2 are required if you are not self-driving. Please advise if you would like us to book these. Additional cost applies.
We recommend minimum 2 people for this trip for safety reasons. However, solo travellers with good hiking experience in changeable weather and good route finding skills will find it achievable

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement (Kaikoura Motel only)NZD$150
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Kaikoura Self-Guided Coastal Walk trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

Trip reviews

Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.


A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

Similar trips

Suggested extensions

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips