12 Hour Guide to Kaikoura | Stuff.co.nz

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

There’s no time to waste when new experiences await, so get up and shine with the sun – watching it peek out from behind the ocean isn’t a bad way to start the day.

Breakfast at Sime’s

Start your day with an inventive breakfast at Sime's.

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Start your day with an inventive breakfast at Sime’s.

33 Beach Road, Kaikoura

Head to this Beach Road restaurant and start the day by refueling with some of the most interesting breakfast options on offer in Kaikōura. Meals aren’t half-done at Sime’s, and each dish on the menu has been given a twist that sets it apart from the rest. Top that off with coffee brewed to perfection with Peoples Coffee Beans and you have a great start to the day!

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Stretch your legs with The Peninsula Walkway

The walk takes three hours.

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The walk takes three hours.

Kaikoura

The Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway has it all; ocean ambiance, cliff and mountain views, and of course, an abundance of marine wildlife. You can drive to the 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 expedition, tackle the walk from downtown to South Bay (which takes just over three hours).

Retail Therapy at Husk Home and Addy & Lou

Find beautiful household items on the main street.

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Find beautiful household items on the main street.

27 West End, Kaikoura, Kaikoura

Now is the time to check out what Kaikōura has to offer on the retail side. You’ll find Husk Home’s most beautifully curated housewares store on the main street. Filled with a selection of handmade goods and established brands, it’s hard to choose what to go out with. Across the road and a short walk is Addy & Lou, another homewares store featuring more amazing items perfect for the home or as gifts. Lots of choices here too, and if you’re lucky this store just might have one of its pop-ups when you visit!

BeeBox for local honey and mead tasting

BeeBox specializes in organic honey selections.

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BeeBox specializes in organic honey selections.

28 West End, Kaikoura

Once back in central Kaikōura, head to the container mall and enter BeeBox, a locally run store specializing in organic honey selections. Celebrating honest honey and supporting sustainable beekeeping practices, BeeBox is your one-stop-shop for all things honey. Don’t leave without tasting mead, a special dessert wine made from honey.

Lunch at the Slam Club

Slam Club is known for its sandwiches.

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Slam Club is known for its sandwiches.

10 West End, Kaikoura

Now surely it’s time to eat again, right? Slam Club is the destination to quell your hunger. Famous for its grilled sandwiches (which are so much more than its humble name suggests), the sandwiches are something. Topped with your choice of venison, venison, duck or pork, grilled to perfection and served with roast potatoes.

Head North for the Crawfish and Cultural Artwork Package

There are more than 20 cultural sites.

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There are more than 20 cultural sites.

SH1 Kaikoura

It’s time to hit the road for some madness and culture (and you’re in luck as this is one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand!). After the earthquake, there was the addition of over 20 roadside sites featuring cultural artwork that tells the rich local history. Works of art are dotted along the 60 km route from Oaro to Clarence. It is worth heading north to discover the sites of Paparoa and Rākautara, as it is at the latter that you will discover Nin’s Bin. Other notable stops include the famous Mangamanu and Meatworks surf spots.

Nin’s Bin for a fresh kai moana

Nin's Bin is a local icon.

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Nin’s Bin is a local icon.

July 20 NZ, State Highway 1, 6, Kaikōura

In Rākautara, head straight to Nin’s Bin to taste local seafood specialties. This is a classic Kaikoura destination. This iconic trailer restaurant sits by the ocean along State Highway 1, where it opened about 40 years ago. The crays are caught early in the morning right out front using sustainable fishing methods, cooked in copper pots and served with fresh lemon garlic butter straight from the caravan – simple and delicious and 100% worth the trip .

Emporium Brewing Craft Beer Tasting

Emporium has plenty of beers to choose from.

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Emporium has plenty of beers to choose from.

1 Avoca Street, Kaikoura

By the time you’re done driving, it’s surely beer time. Head to Emporium Brewing to sample some local craft beer and chat with the friendly team. Sample the range and buy a number of different beers brewed on site that you won’t come across in your local supermarket, a perfect souvenir to enjoy later or a gift for that friend who feeds the cat while you’re away. Besides the bar and brasserie, these guys also run a mini-golf course and a few escape rooms, if you’re feeling up for another activity.

The pier hotel

The Pier is a classic pub.

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The Pier is a classic pub.

1 Avoca Street, Kaikoura

As the sun begins to set behind these majestic mountains, there is no better place than The Pier Hotel. This classic Kiwi pub has some of the best views in town and is a local favorite for a pint or two. Grab your drink of choice, head to the beer garden, or try your luck finding a table by the window to park and watch the sky turn pink.

Dinner at the Zephyr

Don't miss the Zéphyr crayfish ravioli.

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Don’t miss the Zéphyr crayfish ravioli.

40 West End, Kaikoura, Kaikoura

One of the best restaurants in Kaikōura, Zephyr is the perfect place to book your dinner. The menu is inspired by French cuisine and focuses on meat, but vegetarians have also been taken into consideration. A quiet and relaxing place to wind down after a big day.

Movie at Mayfair

You can't miss the bright pink theatre.

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You can’t miss the bright pink theatre.

80 Esplanade, Kaikoura

Get away from that food baby and stroll along the seafront to Mayfair. This cultural and artistic hub functions primarily as a movie theater with brand new state-of-the-art auditoriums. You can expect to find the latest releases at the show and tickets can be grabbed online to avoid missing out. It’s time to sit down and settle in for an hour or two in the comfortable seats with big-screen entertainment.

A last drink at the Strawberry Tree

Strawberry Tree is located in the city center.

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Strawberry Tree is located in the city center.

21 West End, Kaikoura

You might want to go to bed after stepping out of this dark theater, but since you’re here, you might as well tick the last box that will complete a busy day in Kaikōura. Return to downtown and end the evening with a nightcap at the iconic Strawberry Tree. Take a seat by the crackling fireplace, stargaze in the beer garden, or perhaps listen to tunes from local musicians.

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