Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Amazing views over the surrounding peaks
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Highlights

  • Explore Kaikoura’s hidden coastline on this exclusive short break trek
  • Enjoy Alpine views whilst walking through a diversity of landscapes
  • The east coast of New Zealand’s South Island with its black sand beaches
  • Meet your gracious kiwi farm hosts whilst staying in cosy cottages
  • High cliff tops and rolling farmland that sweeps down to the Pacific Ocean

Discover New Zealand’s Kaikoura coast on the South Island with its abundant sea life, rugged tussock-covered clifftops and views of snow-covered mountains on the horizon.

Walk along black sand beaches with high cliffs overhead and spot a leaping dolphin or a seal resting on the rocks. Trek into nature as you tramp through bush-filled deep gullies and undulating green fields. Take a break in an ancient Maori campsite and be captivated by the Kaikoura Seaward Mountains rising up from the Pacific.

An exclusive walk, you will be 1 of only 10 walkers allowed on the track per day, staying in homely cottages with your convivial and gracious local hosts. Really get to know the kiwi farming way of life in this immersive short break experience.

Day 1: Arrive Ngaroma and overnight

Arrive in the small settlement of Ngaroma, located on the beautiful Kaikoura coastline. From Christchurch, you can either drive here in your rental car(2H) or take a bus (3H).


The Kaikoura Coast Track is a hidden gem of New Zealand’s South Island. The route has stunning scenery of distant mountain peaks and green farmland that rolls down to turquoise seas. This area is famed for its wildlife and you will be able to spot seals lazing on the rocks or, if you are lucky, playful dolphins.


This track was developed by three farming families who owned the land and wanted to share a piece of heaven with the rest of the world. Tonight you will stay at Beach Cottage, a former sheep shearers’ quarters on the farm, which has been turned into a delightful little beach house. Your local hosts provide a pre-walk briefing and a home-cooked meal this evening.


Dinner & Overnight: Ngaroma


Day 2: Walk to The Whare

After a hearty farm breakfast, today’s walk takes you firstly along a black sand beach and past cliffs which are embedded with 8,000 year old fossils. Keep your eye-out for dolphins!


After a couple of hours, turn off the beach and walk inland into the bush where you may want to stop for your picnic lunch at Circle Shelter, an ancient Maori campsite.


Then walk over open farmland where there are amazing views of the snow-capped peaks of the Kaikoura Peninsula to the north and the Banks Peninsular to the south. Listen out for birdsong from fantails and grey warblers as you walk.


Take a break at the picturesque "Rest and Reflect" bench at the top of the hill, before making your way to the Whare cottage, where you'll be spending the second night. Nestled in a quiet area of the home paddock, you’ll gain insight into busy farm life on a remote sheep farm. Here you can relax,  enjoy a hot shower and a dinner of local goodies, such roast lamb, and seasonal vegetables.


Walk: 12 km


Dinner & Overnight: Medina


Day 3: Transfer to Buntings Gulley. Walk to Ngaroma

The next morning you'll be up early (9:00am, although this is flexible) for a van transfer to Buntings Gully (20 minutes). Follow Buntings Stream deep into the gully for about 3 hours, until you reach the skyline. Enjoy the ancient remnants of the beech forest here with a variety of giant podocarps and ferns.


See the Conway River below and the vast fir plantations and view the Inland Kaikoura Ranges, usually covered in snow at the beginning and end of the walking season.


Upon reaching Skull Peak Shelter you can have a hot drink, fill up your water bottle and rest before the last trek up to the top of Skull Peak, where you have panoramic views of the Kaikoura coastline. From here you may be able to spot Whale Watch encounter boats as it is here where sperm whales feed on giant squid in this part of the South Pacific Ocean.


Now walk down to the coast and enter the Mamaku Reserve, an area of coastal bush including native jasmines, clematis and fuchsia trees. Walk up the last little hill to finish where you started at the Beach House in Ngaroma. From here you can pick up your rental car from its secure location, or make your onward journey by bus. Why not make this short break part of your other travels in New Zealand?


Walk: 12 km

Accommodation

On this tour you will stay in 2 modest and homely beach cottages. The Beach House in Ngaroma, where you will spend your first night has 5 rooms and 2 bathrooms, which will not be ensuite. There are hot showers and a living area with a dining table, a woodstove and a separate kitchen. The second accommodation at The Whare is similar to the first, but has 2 separate buildings each with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom to share. Each also has a kitchen area.  This accommodation is simple, and is more like staying in a cottage rather than a hotel or B&B.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. We welcome solo walkers on the Kaikoura Coast Track, although you should of course take extra care in the outdoors when walking solo and there is also a solo supplement payable.



 

 

 



The Beach House - Ngaroma



The Beach House - Ngaroma

The Beach House in Ngaroma, where you will spend your first night, has 5 rooms and 2 bathrooms, which will not be ensuite. There are hot showers and a living area with a dining table, a woodstove and a separate kitchen.


 

 

 


 

 

 



The Whare - Medina



The Whare - Medina

The Whare is similar to the first, but has 2 separate buildings each with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom to share. It also has a kitchen area.


 

 

 

Availability

The Kaikoura Coast Track is available to book between October 1st and April 30th. Since only 10 people are allowed on this track at any one time, space is therefore limited. If there are only 2 of you it is easier to book when you want, but if you have a large group up to 10 then the more in advance you book, the better.  If you wish to travel during public holidays or at weekends, which tend to be busier, please also try to book as far in advance as you possibly can to secure your place.


Why not try one of our alternate walks in New Zealand too, such as the Queen Charlotte,  Abel Tasman, Routeburn, Kepler, or Milford Tracks? This Kaikoura Short Break can be just a small part of your travels in New Zealand.


Time of Year

The best time of year to walk the Kaikoura Coast Track is between October and April, during the spring, summer and Autumn/fall months. Also this is when all of the accommodations are open. The weather will be more settled during these times of year, although it can be unpredictable at any time.  


Meals

Whilst hiking on the Kaikoura Coast Track, 2 breakfasts and 2 packed lunches will be provided. For the breakfasts you will be presented with a basket full of items such as granola, fruit, bread, eggs, milk, tea, coffee, etc and you will need to make it yourself. The packed lunches will be made for you. Home-cooked dinners are also included at the cottages, which will be a hearty meal. (You will be expected to heat up the meals on the kitchen stove if necessary).


Grade & Terrain

A reasonable degree of fitness is required. On the first day there is not much elevation gain (150-200m) and on the second day there is about 450m of elevation gain. This tour is rated easy to moderate. You will be walking mainly on beaches, coastal paths, open farmland and through native bush. The terrain can be uneven at times but is usually smooth. Please bear in mind that walking along beaches generally takes longer than walking on a trail.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The track is well marked and signposted, and if you stick to the main track, there is very little chance of losing your way.


We also provide a track guide and GPX tracks are accessible on the Macs Smartphone App, so you can simply follow the route on your phone if you wish.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.


Car Rental

We can arrange car rental for your trip. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.


here are a couple of places along the track where you’ll be required to cross tidal estuaries and we strongly recommend the use of water shoes (crocs, sports sandals etc) for these as there are sharp shells and small stones that can cut bare feet.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to and from Ngaroma

By Air: The closest airport to the start and finish point, Ngaroma, is Christchurch Airport. This airport serves international airlines and you can also take domestic flights here from Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.


If you are renting a car at Christchurch and will be driving to Ngaroma, the start of the track is 7.5km off State Highway 1 (the main north/south highway in the South Island). Both the Kaikoura Coast Track and Conway Flat are clearly signposted from State Highway 1. To reach the start of the track you’ll drive 140km north of Christchurch (2hrs), from Kaikoura you’ll drive 40km south (40mins), and from Hanmer Springs you’ll drive 100km east (1hr and 20mins).


If you are taking a bus there are 2 lines that operate between Christchurch and Kaikoura, Intercity and Kaikoura Express. There is one Intercity bus per day and one Kaikoura Express bus per day from Christchurch, so you will have to check their timetables and information carefully. If you want to take the Kaikoura Express you will need to ring the bus company in advance in order to get dropped off at Conway Flats. Please let our local hosts know when you will be arriving and they will come and meet you.


On return from Ngaroma you would do the same but in reverse.


* Please be aware that when booking flights from the UK to New Zealand you will arrive 2 days after you set off and on return you will arrive 1 day after you set off. So, for example, if you leave on a Tuesday you will arrive on a Thursday and on return if you leave on a Saturday you will arrive home on the Sunday. This is obviously because of the time it takes to get there but also because you are travelling back and forth across the International Date Line. Similar principles apply when travelling from other places in Europe and from the USA and Canada. Please make sure that when you book you take this into consideration so that you are arriving on the correct day that the tour begins.

Included

  • 2 Nights in comfortable cottages
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • 2 Packed lunches
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Transfer from The Whare to Buntings Gully
  • Pre-tour briefing with local hosts
  • Information Pack, map and guide booklet
  • Access to the Macs Smartphone App with GPS Tracks
  • 24-7 Emergency telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Ngaroma
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal necessities
  • ETA & IVL requests (mandatory as per 1 Oct 2019)

Extras

  • Single room & solo walkers supplement(s)
  • Additional nights
  • Rental Car

How far in advance do I need to book?

Since only 10 walkers are allowed on the track per day, to avoid disappointment please try to plan your trip well in advance, if possible.

How fit do I need to be?

A reasonable degree of fitness is required. On the first day there is not much elevation gain (150-200m) and on the second day there is about 450m of elevation gain. This tour is rated easy to moderate. 

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

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lf you require more information before booking, please contact us on

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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