Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula

Point Kean Viewpoint, Kaikoura, New Zealand

  • Activities:

    Stand Up Paddle, Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Bodysurfing, Running, Surfing, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    4.3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    196.9 Feet

Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Scenic
Wildlife

This scenic trail  follows the clifftop before dropping down onto the beach for the return trip. Blue water, furry seals wide open views combine to make for a experience you won't forget. Great surf nearby.

From the Point Kean carpark head south up the paved walkway until you reach the Clifftop Walk. This trail will take you past East Head and Atia Point before it becomes the South Bay Lookout Walk. When you reach car park at trail's end turn back the way you came and descend the stairs near East Head to the beach.

The beach trail winds in and out of coves and headlands, which are home to an array of beautiful seabirds and seals. The beach is made up of white stones and littered with opalescent pāua shells. There are plenty of spaces to lay out a blanket and enjoys the sun and surf.

The final headland between you and your car can be closed off by the tide, so be sure to watch the tide from the clifftop during the first portion of your walk. People commonly wade through this area if the surf is calm, but it can be slippery and even dangerous.

If in doubt, play it safe and walk back to the stairway.

If you like to surf, some of the best surfing on the south Island is nearby at Mungamanu, about 15 mins north of Kaikoura.

Note: The Marine Mammals Protection Act states that you MUST NOT disturb the seals. Stay at least 20m away.

Pack List

  • 10 essentials
  • Picnic
  • Binoculars
  • Surfboard?
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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The peninsula is so easy to explore. Easy parking and you'll walk right out to the water. The town itself is a really cool and quaint place. Hiking up the hills is pretty easy and you'll get amazing views of green land and blue mountains on one side and the ocean on the other.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Tobin Akehurst Explorer

I am from the Pacific Northwest, where the mountains meet the sea. When I eschew the trappings of the modern world and venture into the mountains I feel as though I am revived by simplicity, renewed by the power of violent geography.

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