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The Kaikoura Coast Track

3 Days & 2 Nights
  • 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.
This tour will appeal to those who like walking through a diversity of tranquil landscapes, on cliff tops, along beaches and through native New Zealand bush with terrific views of the ocean and distant mountains. It will also interest walkers who like to encounter wildlife on the way, such as a variety of birds, dolphins and seals. This tour is rated easy to moderate and is therefore a walk that a person with reasonable fitness can easily do.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.


Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers, Multi-Generational, First Timers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Coastal & Island

Activity Level & 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.


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.


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 therea 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.


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).

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

When To Go

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.  

Getting to the Start

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.

* 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.

Getting from the End

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

Luggage Transfer

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.

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.

Car Rental

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


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.

How far in advance do I need to book?
How fit do I need to be?
How do the baggage transfers work?
What equipment do I need?


Day 1 Arrive Ngaroma and overnight Day 2 Walk to The Whare 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 3 Transfer to Buntings Gulley. Walk to Ngaroma 7.5 miles / 12 km

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