Tips & Guides

Kaikoura: A Must-Visit Destination on Your Summer Road Trip Itinerary

4th Oct 2023
Sophie Piearcey
Jayco Ambassadors

New Zealand is a land of landscapes and unique experiences, and a road trip through this stunning country is complete with a stop in Kaikoura.

Nestled on the north-eastern coast of the South Island, Kaikoura is a small coastal town that offers abundant natural beauty, wildlife encounters, and outdoor adventures. If you’re planning a summer road trip in a camper van or caravan, Kaikoura should be a top destination on your itinerary.

Encounter with Friendly Fur Seals

Kaikoura’s unique geography makes it a haven for fur seals, and you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these charming creatures. Visit Ohau Point Seal Colony, where you can view the main Colony right from the roadside viewing platform. It’s an enchanting and heart-warming experience for animal lovers and families.

Whale Watching Extravaganza

One of the most compelling reasons to visit Kaikoura is its reputation as one of the world’s best whale-watching places. The deep waters off the coast of Kaikoura are home to a rich marine ecosystem, attracting sperm whales year-round. These magnificent creatures can be observed up close during boat tours that offer a chance to witness their colossal tails breaking the surface as they dive deep into the ocean.

You might also spot other marine life, such as dolphins, seals, and albatrosses, creating an unforgettable marine safari experience.

Delectable Seafood Delights

Kaikoura is renowned for its exceptional seafood and a must-visit destination for foodies. The town is famous for its crayfish and other fresh seafood like mussels, Paua, and more. There’s nothing quite like savouring a seafood feast by the ocean, and Kaikoura offers plenty of opportunities to indulge in this culinary delight. Nins Bin is a great roadside caravan if you fancy dinner with a view.

Scenic Coastal Drives

New Zealand is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, and Kaikoura is no exception. The drive to Kaikoura from either Christchurch or Blenheim is a visual treat, featuring stunning coastal vistas and rugged mountain ranges. The Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway offers panoramic views of the ocean and the Seaward Kaikoura Mountains, making it an ideal spot for a stroll or a scenic picnic.


Outdoor Adventures Galore

For adventure seekers, Kaikoura offers various outdoor activities to get your heart racing. You can go kayaking along the coast, take a scenic flight for a bird’s-eye view of the region, or embark on hiking and biking adventures in the surrounding mountains. Whether you’re into adrenaline-pumping experiences or more relaxed outdoor pursuits, Kaikoura has something for everyone.

Soak in Natural Hot Springs

On route out of Kaikoura, if you are heading south, treat yourself to a soothing soak in the Hanmer Springs, just a short drive from Kaikoura. These natural hot springs offer relaxation and rejuvenation in mineral-rich waters surrounded by lush forests and mountain scenery. It’s the perfect way to unwind and recharge during your road trip.

Kaikoura is a hidden gem on New Zealand’s South Island, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife encounters, delicious cuisine, and outdoor adventures. If you’re planning a summer road trip in a camper van or caravan, take advantage of the opportunity to include Kaikoura. Kaikoura has everything from whale watching and seal encounters to stunning coastal drives and delectable seafood. It’s a destination that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the beauty of New Zealand’s natural wonders.