Trek Notes - New Zealand

Kaikoura Coast

Visit Real New Zealand Farms in a Scenic Setting

The Kaikoura Coast Track offers you the rare combination of uncrowded walking or mountain biking and friendly farm hospitality. The invigorating journey will lead you through the unspoilt beauty of the Kaikoura Coast on the South Island of New Zealand, with breath-taking views of mountains, sea and remote farmland. Travel along tussock-covered hills, native bush-filled gullies and sandy beach.  

Can You Do It?  
A reasonable level of fitness is required. The 43 kilometre (27 mile) long track climbs from the sea, to a height of 600 metres (1970 feet) with spectacular views of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountains. You will need a day pack, warm clothing, a waterproof parka and a sleeping bag. Sturdy footwear is necessary if you are walking or your own mountain bike if you are biking.  

What is Provided?  
Each section of the track has a day hut with a supply of fresh drinking water. Your pack will be waiting for you each evening, at a warm, clean cottage with comfortable beds. The accommodation has fully equipped kitchens, flushing toilets and hot baths or showers. Fresh farm produce, milk, bread and supplies are available.  Guided walks can also be arranged. A local guide will tell you about the nature, geology and history of the areas you walk through.  

Where is It?  
The Kaikoura Coast Track starts and finishes at The Staging Post, which is on State Highway One, the main north/south road. It is 140 kilometres (87 miles) or about 1½ hours drive north of Christchurch  and 50 kilometres (31 miles) or about ¾ of an hour south of Kaikoura. Christchurch is about half way down the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

If you’re driving to the track, secure car parking is provided at the start. There are also plenty of shuttle bus and coach services between Christchurch and Picton that can drop you off right at the Staging Post gate.

First Night - The Staging Post

Enjoy the historic sheep station setting with its mud-brick and log cabins, vintage machinery, swimming pool and barbecue facilities. Hosts: J D Macfarlane and Gypsy.

First Day
Five to seven hours walking along the Hawkswood Range. Lunch at the Glen Colwyn Shelter, then enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, and the Seaward Kaikoura Mountains which rise to 2600 metres (8530 feet). Down off the tussocks and through the bush to Ngaroma Homestead by the sea.

Second Night - Ngaroma
You can relax around the swimming pool or barbecue, and perhaps join in with a sheep muster. Hosts: Heather and Bruce Macfarlane.

Second Day
Three to four hours walking along the beach, past cliffs embedded with 8000 year old tree stumps and fossils. You may see seals and Hector’s or Dusky dolphins at play in the surf. Lunch at the Circle Shelter amongst coastal bush. Walk across open farmland and through the conservation area of regenerating bush to the Medina homestead.

Third Night - Medina
Enjoy the warm hospitality of a remote sheep station where the solitude of the landscape is punctuated only by native birds, farm animals, and the surf breaking on a rugged coast. Hosts: Sally and David Handyside.

Third Day
Four to five hours walking. Up through Medina into the Hawkswood Range to Mount Wilson (642 m or 2110'). From here you can look south to Banks Peninsula, or west to the Southern Alps in the distance and The Staging Post far below.

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