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Fine ocean views from The Store cafe at Kekerengu

Llovely Llama trekking by the stunning Kaikoura coast

Wacky Stays Wagon Wheels

Kaikoura, Credits Andy Jackson

Nikau-Lodge-Kaikoura B&B

A motorway cafe from heaven...The Store at Kekerengu, north of Kaikoura also has a mediterranean terrace overlooking the sea

Mmm nice combo, our BMW 6 Series convertible takes a coffee break at The Store Kekerengu

The Store Kekerengu Terrace

A complete fluke?! Capture a whale of a tail at Kaikoura

Nikau Lodge B&B Kaikoura - brilliant views and brilliant breakfasts from a trained chef

Kaikoura coastline

View from The Store Cafe Kekerengu

Seal Colony Ohau Point (it's a lot bigger than this small portion)

Drive the stunning East Coast SH1 Credit Andy Poswillo, Bayleys

A 3 hour drive north of Christchurch via State Highway 1, Kaikoura is the place to go if you want to do some Whale Watching, which really is quite a profound experience. The boat trip gets closest but there are scenic flights too. Kaikoura is a small ‘seaside’ town with a museum telling the story of the 2016 earthquake which had huge effect on the region.

Another profound experience with animals in a much more up close and personal way is Llama Trekking – yes it is a thing! You don’t ride them, you walk them on a lead but they have very particular characters to get used to. Your knowledgeable guide escorts you alongside the magnificent ocean giving informative history and Llama theory while you do the hands on practical but it’s very safe and memorable. The same people do some fun Wacky Stays accommodation on their farm where you can stay in a bus, railway carriage or even a covered wild west wagon with woodburner, double bed and ensuite bathroom. Other recommended accommodation is Nikau Lodge a lovely Bed and Breakfast Villa with equally superb views and cooked breakfasts, plus an outdoor spa. If you like large hotels there’s the newly opened Sudima Kaikoura.

Our Saab convertible provides great sea views at Kaikoura

The East Coast features some of the most glorious coastal roads and ocean views, (it tracks alongside the ocean for nearly 100km). Noteworthy stop offs would be Nins Bin for fresh crayfish, watching a seal colony from a few metres above at by the main road at Ohau Point, and The Store at Kekerungu for lunch by the ocean on a Mediterranean style terrace…..

Watch this Road Trip video to get inspired to make the journey….in something much more interesting than a boring SUV rental! 

And on the way back you can divert off to Hanmer Springs to get some serious R and R….

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