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Four Epic Walks in Kaikoura and Beyond

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We often get asked about free things to do in Kaikoura, so love to recommend the local walking tracks for views of the coastline, native forest and wildlife unique to the area.  Here’s our pick of the top tracks and trails, either a short distance from the motel or further afield – easily done as a day trip.

Tick off the Kaikoura Lookout (1 hour each way)
Build up an appetite for the local seafood by undertaking one of the steeper walks in Kaikoura up to the town’s lookout. This is an easily accessible viewpoint which reveals panoramic views of the peninsula, especially at sunset. Ask us for directions or from the Esplanade, head up Tom's Track to the Lookout and return down Dempsey’s Track for a well-deserved refreshment on the water’s edge.

Wander up the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway (2-3 hours)
Regarded as one of the best walks in Kaikoura because it combines stunning views, a great workout and sometimes a distant encounter with seals at low tide. Starting from the Point Kean seal colony main car park, the track climbs past informative panels dotted along the route so you’ll learn about the history and ecology of the area.


Attack the Mt Fyffe Summit Track (8 hours)
If you fancy one of the more challenging day walks in Kaikoura (just a short drive from town), then this day hike might appeal. It’s a steep trek to the summit of Mt Fyffe but the stunning panoramic views of the Kaikoura Ranges and its snow-capped mountains are breath taking. On a clear day, you might just spot the Banks Peninsula and the North Island. The hike begins at the Mount Fyffe carpark and with a good level of fitness, should take between six to eight hours to complete. For a shorter hike, head up to the Mt Fyffe Hut (5 hours return) or the lookout point, just an hour above the carpark.


Hit the Hinau Track (45-minute loop)
Named after the Hinau tree which grow alongside the trail, this gentle walk is one of the family-friendly things to do in Kaikoura. The 45-minute loop track also starts at the base of Mt Fyffe carpark, an easy 10-minute drive from the motel.  Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the sounds of regenerating birdlife as you wander through native forest on this well-formed track. There is an unbridged stream which in normal conditions, is easy to step across without getting your shoes wet.

Guests often ask us at the Bella Vista Motel about the best walks in Kaikoura. So we’ll happily suggest options to suit your level of fitness or timeframe and point you in the right direction.