Kaikoura Journals

The Spectacular Vistas of Kaikoura

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A June 2008 trip to Kaikoura by svearvaldyr

Seal Colony Photo, Kaikoura, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: Nestled in a counvenient location between Christchurch and the balmy cities of the northern South Island, Kaikoura is a stunning spot to stop in and enjoy the sea air on your way up or down SH1.

Strawberry Tree Restaurant & Bar

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Attraction | "A Bit of Irish Charm a Long Way from Ireland"

Strawberry Tree Restaurant & Bar Photo, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Quote:
There's a number of bars to choose from in Kaikoura's West End, but I think the one with the best atmosphere would be the Strawberry Tree. There's a number of bars that look very nice from the outside but feel a bit stale when you get inside. This Irish themed pub doesn't look very inviting from the outside, with minimal frontage and a big wooden door, but is far more welcoming once you get past the brusque exterior. The inside is much like many other Irish bars, with the usual guinness accoutrements and rustic furnishings, but it's well done. The bar is very straightforward and there's loads of great wooden fixtures and tabletops that set off the big stone fireplace beautifully. It's...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 7, 2009

Strawberry Tree Restaurant & Bar
21 West End
Kaikoura
+64 3 319 6451

The Store

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Restaurant | "Idyllic Location for a Great Little Mediterranean Cafe"

The Store, front Photo, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Quote:
Technically speaking this is not in Kaikoura, but it is within pretty easy striking distance of the town - about twenty minutes' drive north along the coast - but it definitely bears a mention and serves as a great Kaikoura feature because of the drive itself to get out there. You are treated to some wonderful scenery as you head up the coast, with scores of seals basking on the roacky shore and towering wooded hills rising right up along the roadside. As you pull away from town, there are some beautiful dark sand beaches that are worth stopping at for a few photos before you move on and make the final drive up to the Store itself. It comes out of nowhere, but it is signposte...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2009

Kaikoura Seal Colony

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Attraction | "Walking Amongst the Wildlife - for Free!!"

Seal Colony Photo, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Quote:
When we checked into our YHA hostel at the quiet end of Kaikoura the woman at reception asked what we were planning on doing while we were in town. Our reply was that we were largely going to wander around and enjoy the scenery. 'Good,' she replied, 'That's definitely what Kaikoura is best for.' It's known for its whale watching and - more recently - for an array of the usual white knuckle type New Zealand experiences, but Kaikoura is in an absolutely spectacular location. The whale watching, the crays, the skydiving, all of this is very expensive here, but the scenery is free and you won't find a much more impressive setting anywhere in the world. One of the best ways to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2009

Kaikoura Seafood BBQ

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Restaurant | "Sue's Secret BBQ Shack - Well Worth a Look"

Quote:
This is regarded as a bit of a local secret, despite the fact that it's featured in Lonely Planet and a variety of other such guides. Ask anyone in town where to find this and they'll be able to direct you there. I strongly recommend that you follow their directions as it's well worth a look. Kaikoura is famous for its seafood, but unless you're flush with cash it can be fiscally unfeasible to sample said seafood. They charge export prices here for their famous crays, so if you'd hoped to get one of these delicacies at wholesale prices from the place they first come out of the sea you will be disappointed. The prices they charge here for seafood are outrageous, geared toward fleecing ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 7, 2009

Kaikoura Seafood BBQ
Fyffe Quay
Kaikoura
+64 27 330 0511

Hine's Takeaways

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Restaurant | "Cheap and Kind of Cheerful Fish and Chips"

Quote:
Kaikoura is famous for its seafood, notably its crays. Given that it's right on the coast and crayfish are practically dragging themselves out of the sea and onto your plate, we thought that they'd be pretty reasonably priced when you get it direct from the place they're caught. Not so. The locals pay export prices, which is frankly ridiculous, and so we decided we weren't going to contribute to that kind of highway robbery and opted for some good old fashioned New Zealand fish and chips on our first night in Kaikoura. We asked around in a variety of places for the best fish and chips in town and all of them directed us to Hines. As such we had pretty high expectations when we showed up at this l...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 7, 2009

Hine's Takeaways
West End
Kaikoura
64 3 319 5637

YHA Kaikoura

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Hotel | "Peaceful, Clean and Efficient"

YHA Kaikoura Photo, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Quote:
Whether or not you'll like Kaikoura's YHA will probably depend very much on whether or not you have your own transport. It's a good 20 minute walk into town, but as walks go this is a beauty, right along the beach. The hostel sits overlooking Kaikoura bay. We booked into a twin room with a truly spectacular view looking directly out over the water. There was no extra charge for this, so it was a very pleasant added extra. The hostel itself is very clean throughout, very well organised and has extremely helpful staff. There are good kitchen facilities, internet access, pleasant enough bathrooms and a TV room and patio that boast magnificent views across the bay. This plac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2009

YHA Kaikoura
270 Esplanade
Kaikoura
+64 3 319 5931

Adelphi Lodge

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Hotel | "Character and added extras, though a few bad points too"

Quote:
The Adelphi is very easy to spot. It's a big building right in the heart of Kaikoura's West End with the name written in big letters across its roof clearly visible from the i-site in the middle of town. Whether you'll like the Adelphi or not depends very much on what you're looking for. It has lots of character, lots of extras, loads of amenities and gives very easy access to Kaikoura's limited social scene. We stayed in a double ensuite. The shower was a little rickety but it was warm and powerful, which is all that really matters. The room's decor was very cobbled together and mismatched - as you'll find with many backpacker hostels - but it came with TV and video and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 7, 2009

Adelphi Lodge
26 West End
Kaikoura
+64 (03) 319-5141