The breath-taking scenery of Kaikōura is best explored on foot. Wake up with the rising sun over the Pacific Ocean and send it off with a platter and wine snuggled under a blanket on the beach. Here’s our favourite spots in Kaikōura to take in the glowing light of dusk and dawn.
Park up at Whale Watch and start walking along the beach track towards the mountain ranges. This large beach gives you plenty of privacy to find a spot for yourself to watch the sunrise. Take your yoga mat and do some slow morning movement, or simply just sit down to centre the soul with the sound of the waves and birdsong as your background.
Mt Fyffe is one of Kaikōura’s most popular walking tracks. The summit provides some incredible views but just an hour’s walk up the track is a lookout. Start your walk at dawn and time it so that you reach the lookout at sunrise and we promise you won’t be disappointed. The lookout offers views on inland Kaikōura, out to the peninsula and across the Pacific Ocean.
Grab yourself a coffee in a takeaway keep cup from Café Encounter and cross the road to the Esplanade. Plenty of wooden seating dots the grassy area along this beach and they make for the perfect spot to sit back and watch big yellow glide up above the oceans horizon. Afterwards, head back over to Café Encounter for a delicious breakfast.
Observe seals and seabirds, explore historic pā and whaling sites and enjoy clifftop views of the sea and mountains along the Kaikōura Walkway and its many short tracks. Perch up at South Bay viewpoint with a picnic blanket and as you watch the sunset, also look out for the many dolphins and seals that call Kaikōura’s waters home.
A few friends, a portable BBQ and a chilli bin full of bait (or beer) is all you need for a quintessential Kiwi evening at the beach. Head down to South Bay beach to catch the last of the days rays. If you’re a keen fisher then bring your rod for some surfcasting, this beach is known for pulling up some decent sized rig.
If you don’t have a lot of time but still want to catch one of Kaikōura’s infamous sunsets, then head to the Kaikōura lookout on the peninsula. Easily accessible by car, just pull up to the carpark and take in the expansive views that look back to towards the Kaikōura Mountain Ranges and gives you an entirely different perspective of the town. Even if it’s not sunset, the lookout is definitely worth visiting.