How to get to Kaikoura

How to get to Kaikoura

If you’re gearing up for an unforgettable journey to the coastal haven of Kaikoura, you’re in for a treat. In this blog post, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide on how to get to Kaikoura.

Buckle up as we navigate through the scenic routes, transportation options, and must-see stops on your way to Kaikoura. This guide is your passport to discovering the hidden gems and natural wonders of this enchanting town, all while being written by the experts at Whale Watching Kaikoura.

So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, let’s set sail on this Kaikoura adventure, expertly guided by the locals who know it best!

How to get to kaikoura

By air

If you’re arriving by air, the journey to Kaikoura typically starts with landing at either Christchurch International Airport or Blenheim Airport. Both airports are well-connected, offering travelers the convenience of choosing connecting flights to reach Kaikoura with Sound Air.

Scenic flights and charters are available at Kaikōura airport. Air Kaikōura and Wings Over Whales offer charter flight options.

Flying provides a unique perspective, allowing you to witness the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand from above, with possible glimpses of the Southern Alps during your journey.

Travel to Kaikoura by plane

By road

Getting to Kaikōura is like a road trip adventure! It’s just a 2-hour and 30-minute drive from Christchurch, and the route takes you through cool places like the Waipara wine valley and Cheviot, making the journey as awesome as the destination.

There’s this road called Mt Lyford Inland Route 70 that connects Waiau to Kaikōura, and the best part? It’s open all day, every day. So, whenever you’re ready for the road trip, that route is good to go.

Now, if you’re coming from Picton, it’s a sweet 2.5-hour drive, and from Blenheim, it’s a smooth 2-hour drive along the SH1 coastal road. Trust me, the views of the coastline are amazing! And don’t forget to take a break at the Ohau Point viewing area, just a short 25-minute drive north of Kaikōura. You get to see a cool Fur Seal Colony in action.

The SH1 coastal road to Picton and Christchurch is open 24/7 too. For all the latest info on traveling between Picton and Christchurch, you can check out their website. So, whether you’re into road tripping or just excited about reaching Kaikōura, the journey is as fun as the destination!

travel to kaikoura by car

By train

Get ready for one of the most stunning train rides in New Zealand! Picture this: you’ll be cruising along the Pacific coast, taking in breathtaking views from Picton to Christchurch on our Coastal Pacific train.

As you hop on, the train will whisk you away along rugged coastlines, past remote beaches, and between towering mountains and the endless sea. It’s like a timeless journey through nature’s beauty, and you’ll be right in the middle of it.

The Coastal Pacific train doesn’t just pass through landscapes; it’s like a sightseeing adventure. Explore the famous Kaikōura Coastline, known for its marine life and whale watching. Then, glide through the vineyards of Blenheim, where New Zealand’s top-notch grapes grow. Canter through the charming Canterbury countryside until you reach the Garden City of Christchurch.

And here’s the cool part: you can book this incredible journey in either direction, whether you start in Christchurch or Picton. The stops along the way are like little treasures waiting to be discovered:

  • Picton
  • Blenheim
  • Kaikoura
  • Christchurch
travel to kaikoura by train

By bus

InterCity has a Christchurch to Kaikoura bus service.

Buses depart Christchurch from outside the Bus Exchange on Lichfield Street and arrive in Kaikoura at 86 West End. Your journey will take approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Search for a bus from Christchurch to Kaikoura with New Zealand’s most popular national bus network.

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