From foodies to adventurers and lovers, we have created the right package for you.
The perfect gift for the holidays
From foodies to adventurers and lovers, we have created the right package for you.
The perfect gift for the holidays
Liz Carlson is behind Young Adventuress, one of the world’s top solo female travel blog, chronicling her adventures worldwide from the mountains of Wanaka, New Zealand. She has visited Kaikoura a few times and even wrote a piece about her adventures.
We’ve asked her a few of her favorite things about Kaikoura:
… What’s your favorite things to do in Kaikoura in the spring?
I love walking along the beaches and near the seal colonies in the spring. Often the sea breeze smells so fresh and clean, and reminds me of childhood vacations near the ocean. It evokes great nostalgia for me.
… What’s your favorite food to eat when visiting Kaikoura?
Anything from the sea, though crayfish is definitely my fave. Or Pinto Noir wine, does that count?
… What’s your favorite New Zealand brand?
That's hard. I love all of the merino brands, from Allbirds shoes to Mons Royale for clothes, and I love my Wilson and Dorset sheepskin runs and throws around my house.
… Finally tell us about your best souvenir visiting Kaikoura…
Probably my best souvenir from Kaikoura is the memory of one of the sunrise experience, from swimming with dolphins or joining in to see the albatross.
Visit the New Zealand coast where the crayfish is so good they named a town after it.
On the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, about two hours’ drive north of Christchurch, is the picturesquely situated town of Kaikoura. Famous for the abundance of marine life present offshore, with sperm whales, dolphins and seals often spotted close to land, the town’s name derives from the Maori words ‘Kai’, meaning food, and ‘Koura’, meaning crayfish.
Quotas on the number of crayfish being caught in this region have been put in place to protect the marine life here and promote sustainable practices. © Lonely Planet
Here at The Lodge, Chef Fiona Read serves the Kaikoura crayfish Whole and Grilled with a Chili, Horseradish & Lime Butter.
We loved what Lauren Bath, a recent visitor to Kaikoura, recalls from her visit:
The main thing that makes Kaikoura so unique is the Kaikoura Canyon just off shore. It's so deep that it attracts many deep water species that in turn attracts whales!
The Kaikoura Canyon is a part of the Hikurangi Trench and is just 500 meters off the coast and up to 3.75 km deep (12,300ft)! Imagine a drop off in the ocean that is so sudden and so deep? It’s like having the deepest parts of the ocean at your doorstep!
Because of this underwater canyon system Kaikoura attracts SO. MANY. ANIMALS!
And that includes this Sperm Whale, shot from a light plane with Wings Over Whales. Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whales in the world and very rare and special to see.
As they feed in really deep water you have to be patient to see them on the surface breathing, which they do for roughly 10 minutes before taking a massive dive back down.
During the warmer months between November and March orca can be found around the coast of New Zealand and are being seen off the Kaikoura Coastline.
These majestic creatures can be found travelling in tight knit pods of between 6 – 20 individuals.
© Lauren Bath 2017 - All rights reserved
Great News !! The New Zealand Transport Authority has confirmed that State Highway 1 (SH1), both north and south of Kaikoura, will reopen to traffic on December 15, 2017. It should be noted that initially the road will be open only from 7am until 8.30pm. Travelers will need to plan accordingly.
194 kms of our SH1 was badly-damaged by more than 85 landslides caused by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake in November of last year. We would like to send a BIG Thank You to all the people who have literally moved mountains to get the highway re-opened by this Christmas !
The stunning journey along Kaikoura's coastline is yours to enjoy once again. We look forward to welcoming you to Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses!
More information about the current conditions on the highway is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/p2c
Hapuku Lodge is the only New Zealand property to be in the prestigious Air France Gold List for 2017!
We hosted the lunch for the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and his wife, Lady Cosgrove, and fifteen Australian officials who accompanied Sir Peter, as well as fifteen local residents and officials from Kaikoura. We took this opportunity to introduce these important guests to our local seafood and the locally sourced venison. They loved it. And we had a great time.
Sir Peter was visiting Kaikoura with the attendant Australian officials to thank the town for having looked after all the Australians who were stranded and otherwise affected by the earthquake last November 14, 2016. At the time, the town was landlocked, without power, water and adequate sewage facilities, leaving the many visitors stranded. The Township did its best to look after everyone and it is the effort and graciousness of Kaikourians that the Governor-General came to honour.
We were lucky that our Lodge and Tree House structures came through the huge “Kaikoura Earthquake” of November 14, 2016, relatively unscathed – plaster cracks, broken bottles, and the loss of a lot of sleep. With respect to other aspects of our environment we were not as lucky and for the balance of our summer season, which in our southern hemisphere runs from September through March, we were challenged by the significant damage all along the coast. The worst issue from our point of view was the massive landslides along Highway One that smothered the road in hundreds of tons of boulders, trees and dirt.
Highway One runs from Picton (the receiving port for the Wellington ferry) and Blenheim (the nearest airport of size) in the north through Kaikoura to Christchurch in the south. The Highway is the Lodge’s primary artery for supplies and guest arrivals. It is essentially the only way into and out of Kaikoura. There is an alternative, longer route from Christchurch to Kaikoura, the Inland Road, that was less damaged by the quake than Highway One, and which was restored relatively quickly. From mid-January Highway One to the south, from Kaikoura to Christchurch, has been open on a restricted basis - but the route to the north is still closed.
The restoration of the Highway is requiring a huge and expensive outlay of money and effort, involving hundreds of workers and innumerable pieces of heavy equipment (even helicopters and ships) working 10 hous a day, 7 days a week. This is particularly true for the northern route. There the landslides and rebuilding of the road are being attacked from both the north and the south simultaneously. The NZ government has announced that “ no matter what” the road will be fully open by December 2017, an announcement that we take to be a promise.
The staging area for the northern restoration effort is being carried on right around the corner from the Lodge, so we are able to monitor daily the progress being made by the hundreds of men & women from the recovery crews. Considering the scale of the job the progress is quite remarkable. Over half a million cubic tons of debris has to be removed from the roadway and disposed of in an environmentally safe way. The largest load a dump or tip truck can only carry is 3 cubic tons, so we can only imagine the number of trips involved - at times it seems to us to be a Sisyphean effort - but we are confident that the workers will prevail. We watch in amazement.
The larger Kaikoura environs were also affected in significant ways by the quake: major uplifting and subsidence of land, the ocean floor, including that of the local harbour, altered in significant and not yet fully understood ways, and the disruption of a large number of bird and ocean colonies. Repair of Kaikoura harbour’s infrastructure is well under way, allowing the local oceanic tours, Whale Watch, Dolphin Encounter and Kaikoura Kayaks, to regroup and get back to business.
Full operation of the harbour is expected well before the opening of the 2017-18 summer season.
We are also getting good news about the recovery and regrouping of the local seal colonies. The Ohau seal colony to the north of Hapuku is adjusting extremely well, with a number of new seal pup nursery pools evident only a few miles north of their previous long term nurseries. This good news coupled with the recent multiple sightings of Orca, Humpback, and Sperm whales and the daily sighting of hundreds of Dolphins leads us to believe that Kaikoura is on the road to a full recovery.
If you are thinking about coming to Kaikoura this next summer, please rest assured that the town will be ready to welcome you with open arms, as will we.
We want to give a special shout out and thank you to all those guests that joined us this past summer in spite of all the obstacles, and we hope that they found the shifting landscape and the earthworks as interesting as we do.
Each year it is a beautiful sight to see Hutton’s shearwaters, sea birds native and unique to Kaikoura and severely endangered, shear (hence their name) across the ocean to feed before returning to their nesting grounds in the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Range. To protect their nests from predators, such as wild pigs and rodents, Hutton's shearwaters locate their nesting burrows on the steepest slopes of the mountain range at altitudes of 1200 to 1800 meters. Unfortunately, last year this practice exposed the birds to another danger - rock slides caused by the huge 14 November Kaikoura earthquake.
Viewings from helicopters shortly after the earthquake indicated that at least 30% of the nesting burrows, and with them the resident birds and their chicks, of the only two natural colonies in existence, had been destroyed by landslides. To find out more it was necessary to undertake "burrow scoping " - humans on hands and knees examining each nest. The fuller examination of the damage to the colonies had to wait until this month, April, the beginning of New Zealand's winter, to give the birds time to leave their nests and undertake their annual migration north to Australia's warmer waters.
We now have a better picture of what happened as result of the earthquake. Unfortunately, the news is not good. It appears that up to another 20% of the burrows/nest were destroyed and the chicks that they were intend to nurture perished. The best estimates are that the population of chicks has been reduced to 50% of normal, at best.
In the 1960s there were 8 large nesting colonies of shearwaters in Kaikoura. Today there are two. And now, thanks to the earthquake, the two are threatened. The Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust was established in 2008 to protect and encourage the breeding of Hutton's shearwaters. For this purpose the Trust has established an "artificial" breeding colony of burrows on the Kaikoura Peninsula. The Peninsula colony came through the earthquake in much better condition than the two mountain colonies, and will now be crucial to the efforts to increase and re-establish the population over the next few years.
We urge you to support the The Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust as it continues its fantastic work to assure the survival and propagation of this unique and beautiful bird. Please help these birds survive by purchasing one of the Trust's products or by making a donation to The Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust.
Hapuku Lodge will provide complimentary transfers during the clients stay.
Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses is a contemporary country hotel close to Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand. It provides unique tree houses accommodation, a place to relax in an intimate setting and explore Kaikoura's marine life.