BLENHEIM – KAIKOURA
Travel distance is approximately 129kms (81 miles).
Allow at least 1.75 hours drive time (not including stops).
Choose a light breakfast, as you will want to leave room for lunch at the famous Kekerengu Store on route to Kaikoura!
Leaving Blenheim will drive through the Awatere Valley, passing farms and vineyards flanked by rugged mountains. Rural townships along your route include Seddon and Ward, both great places to seek out authentic local crafts, before planning a lunch break at Kekerengu – where the foothills of the Kaikoura range plummet to the sea – dramatic scenery created by Mother Nature!
The tiny villages of Parikawa and Clarence wave you along as you head into Kaikoura, where you can enjoy a night in this sea-side town.
Some notable stops along the route to Kaikoura include:
LAKE GRASSMARE SALT WORKS
You can’t miss the alien landscape of this natural salt production as your drive down the coast from Blenheim. This large, shallow lake has ponds that turn into a stunning deep pink colour during the warmer months, while large mounds of salt sit on the shore.
Enjoy lunch (or a great coffee) on the coastal highway at Kekerengu, where some of the regions best ocean scenery is combined with some of the regions top cuisine! This is a special place, even if just for a refreshing drink and to enjoy the stunning coastal views!
The seaside settlement of Kaikoura is a unique combination of ocean and mountains and is world famous for it’s amazing eco-tourism, including the best Whale Watching and Dolphin swimming to be found anytime of the year!
There is a small selection of quality restaurants and cafes in the township along with relaxing bar meals and fast-food outlets.
As for your accommodation for the night, the choices are great! From a private, self contained apartment on the sea front, to motels, boutique bed and breakfast accommodation and holiday parks. You will find a great place to rest for the night, and to suit your budget!
Highly recommended Kaikoura tourist attractions include…
Whale Watch Kaikoura – The stars of any Whale Watch tour are the giant Sperm Whales that live year-round off the coast of Kaikoura. Each tour is a unique experience and while sightings do vary, you can also enjoy viewing other stunning ocean life, include New Zealand Fur Seals, Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross.
Dolphin Encounter® Kaikoura – Out in the open ocean you can’t beat the magic of being able to swim with wild dolphins. Of course, you don’t have to swim with the dolpins, you may prefer to watch from the warmth and dryness of the deck!Dolphin Encounter®, the pioneers of dolphin swimming in New Zealand, have developed their tours for those wishing to enhance their understanding of dolphins in their natural environment, a truly unique experience.
Kaikoura Winery – Take a guided vineyard and underground cellar tour with award winning wine tastings and sales. Enjoy stunning coastal views in the winery restaurant, boasting an all day menu, terrific wines and spectacular vista views!
Deep Sea Fishing – Enjoy fabulous deep-sea fishing with an experienced charter team as you test your ability against Blue Cod, Sea Perch, Groper and perhaps even dive for New Zealand Rock Lobster (crayfish).
Scenic Flights – Enjoy a scenic flight as your fly over majestic mountains and vast coastal views, perhaps you will even spot a whale!
Sheep Shearing Show – Enjoy a true taste of Kiwi sheep shearing in an authentic New Zealand shearing shed. Along with shearing learn about different wool types, breeds of sheep and more. Let the Ram eat out of the palm of your hand and during spring you can hold a cute little lamb. Shows run daily.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch