Family Weekend Away

Kaikōura’s unique mountain and ocean environment offers the ultimate outdoor playground for families to explore. The region has plenty of guided and free scenic ocean and land-based activities with unique marine wildlife encounters all year round.

Day 1

Exploring along the shore

Start your family weekend in Kaikōura with a guided kayak tour to explore the bays of the Kaikōura Peninsula and watch the seals in action on the water alongside your double kayak. Get on the water for an active family activity with Kaikōura Kayaks or choose a hands-free pedal kayak experience with Seal Kayak Kaikōura. The morning tours are usually calm on the ocean and suitable for families with (younger) kids to enjoy.

After lunch stretch your legs and go for a wander around the Point Kean Seal Colony. This rocky area is a popular hangout spot for the NZ fur seals during the day. There is a track from the carpark that leads up to lookout with panoramic views of the mountains. Here you can also start the Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway, Kaikōura’s signature walk. This stunning 3-hour loop walk can be split up in smaller sections to be enjoyed by all family members.

Finish your walk at Gooch’s Beach on the Esplanade and relax while the kids are playing at the beach’s playground. The calm bay offers safe swimming, stand up paddle boarding and occasionally there are some small waves to practice your surfing skills.

Suggested places for a family to stay: Wacky Stays, Dylans Country Cottages, Kaikoura Top 10 Holiday Park, Alpine Pacific Holiday Park, Awatea Country B & B

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Seal Kayak Kaikōura

New Zealand's 1st and only Kayak tour of its kind. Easier, faster, hands free, pedal or paddle, perfect for photos or those cheeky selfies.
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Kaikōura Seafood BBQ

Our seafood is fresh everyday, including crayfish, paua, scallops, mussels, salmon and more. We BBQ in front of our guests what they have selected.
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Wacky Stays

Wacky Stays offers a farm- stay experience with a range of unique and unusual accommodation in Kaikōura.

Day 2

Dolphin Encounter

Get to know your favourite marine mammals

Start the day early to see your favourite marine mammals around the Kaikōura coast. Take a boat trip with Dolphin Encounter to get a closer look at the Dusky Dolphins. These joyful and curious residential dolphins like to socialise in big pods and are always a delight to watch. Families with children older than 8 can also opt to swim on these trips.

Whale Watching is a very popular family activity that cannot be missed during your family weekend in Kaikōura! Whether it is by boat with Whale Watch Kaikōura or whale watching by air, seeing the magnificent sperm whales in real life is a memorable experience for young and old.

After lunch visit the Kaikōura Museum to dive deeper into the history and culture of the town or learn more about the marine mammals you have seen on your morning trip.

If you are more up for something active the Kowhai Bike Trail is our most family friendly bike track that follows along the Kowhai river and native bush.

Mt Lyford Ski-Field is 60kms inland from Kaikōura and is perfect for some family fun on the slopes during winter. 

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Whale Watch Kaikōura

Whale Watch is New Zealand's only vessel-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year.
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Kaikoura Museum

Located in the landmark “craypot” building, in Kaikōura’s West End, our award winning Museum offers a modern and relaxed environment with a contemporary and fun approach to telling the stories of Kaikōura’s natural, social and cultural journey.
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Wings Over Whales

Wings Over Whales Kaikōura provide whale watching flights, scenic air tours and private aircraft charter.

Day 3

From the water to the land

Start your day and wake up with the calm of the ocean on one of Kaikōura’s local fishing charters. Fishing is a popular activity to do together and is an excellent way to introduce your kids to the true Kaikōura coastal lifestyle. If you rather stay on land today there’s Llama trekking where you will be given your own llama to bond with on a stunning coastal walk.

In the afternoon visit Glenstrae Farm 4WD Adventures for the ride of your life. The Argo ride is suitable for families that are up for an adventurous ride through native bush and hill country farmland. Get to see the spectacular views of the rugged Kaikōura coastline, Haumuri Bluffs their private NZ fur seal colony.

Top off your day at The Emporium for a game of Kaikōura themed mini golf or solve a series of puzzles at one of Emporium’s Escape Rooms followed by a stroll through a lavendar field and some delicious lavender infused ice cream at Lavendyl Lavender Farm.

On your way out north of Kaikōura make sure to stop at the Ohau Point Lookout to watch the seal pups playing mischievously in the rock pools. This Kaikōura breeding colony is a must see on your family weekend in Kaikōura and is only a 20 minutes’ drive from town.

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Emporium Mini Golf & Escape Rooms

The Emporium offers some great dry-land activities here in Kaikoūra. Come and play our popular 18 hole mini golf course, tucked away in a lovely quiet location with views of the mountains. It's fun for the whole family.
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Llama Trekking Kaikōura

Experience a guided Llama Trek in beautiful Kaikōura. Familiarize yourself with the Llamas before the walk starts with an introduction. After getting to know your Llama the guided trek starts.
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Glenstrae Farm 4WD Adventures

Let us take you for the ride of your life, through native bush and hill country farm land. The opportunity to see spectacular views of the rugged Kaikōura coastline, Hamuri Bluffs and see the NZ Fur Seals.