Our first stop in our whirlwind tour of New Zealand’s South Island was the town of Kaikoura, on the Eastern Coast of the island. Just a short two hour drive from Christchurch, we decided to head straight out of the city after we landed and spent the night in a great little hostel by the water, the Fish Tank Lodge.
Kaikoura is on the tourist route due to its whale and dolphin watching, but we decided to skip the boat ride for a hike along the Kaikoura peninsula. The New Zealand government has an online brochure, complete with a map that you can find here for the Kaikoura Peninsula Walk. The walk is mostly on a well maintained track and takes between 1.5 and 3 hours to complete. You can do the walk straight from town, or if you have a car, drive straight to the “good part” by parking at the car park at the base of the cliff walk.
Here are the girls on the flats on the walk back along the beach:
It was a great walk atop the bluffs on the way out and then along the beach on the way back. The whole hike only took a few hours, but it was a great way to get outside and get some exercise for a few hours before hopping in the car to head up to Marlborough Sounds, which we would make our base camp for the next week of wine tasting, mountain biking and hiking.