Kaikōura: a coastal mecca

Kaikōura is a popular destination, for a day, a week, or longer during the holiday season. From the sea to the mountains, and everywhere in between, this small coastal town offers visitors so many options for recreational pursuits.

Indoors and outdoors, on land and sea, opportunities abound, north of Christchurch, approximately two-and-a-half hours’ drive by car. Whether you are self-driving, taking the Coastal Pacific train or travelling on a bus between destinations, a stop off in Kaikōura will not disappoint.

Breathtaking views will stop you in your tracks, especially during the colder months when snow covers the lofty peaks of the Seaward Kaikōura’s, and the white-tipped waves of the Pacific Ocean roll in to the Kaikōura Peninsula.
Not many places can have you on top of a mountain in the morning, whale watching or dolphin / seal swimming in the afternoon and then taking in a gorgeous sunset while feasting upon fresh seafood from the very ocean you are sitting beside.

“Kaikōura is going from strength to strength,” says mayor Craig Mackle, commenting on the opening of a new $35 million hotel on Kaikōura’s waterfront. He adds that the 4.5-star hotel, officially opened last month, will be a fantastic boost to the local economy and employment.

It’s expected that 70,000 additional visitors will come to the coastal North Canterbury town annually.
Destination Kaikōura manager and councillor, Lisa Bond says the Sudima Hotel provides another level of offering that Kaikōura has not had before.

“It also means that we are going to hopefully be able to draw out the seasonality of our town, because they will bring in conferences and events, which we haven’t really been able to cater for before.

“And also tour groups. They have the capacity to be able to take more than one coach tour at a time, which is going to be fantastic. “These people aren’t just going to be staying within the walls of the hotel. They will be out and about exploring, supporting the retail, the hospitality and the operators in town as well, which is just a flow on effect for everybody,” says Bond.

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