Local Beaches!

We are so lucky to have so many beautiful beaches so close to us. We are famous for our black pebble beaches and mountainous backdrop so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take some amazing photos.

Word of caution- It is not generally recommended to swim in Kaikoura township anywhere North of the Kaikoura Memorial Gardens which are located on the beachfront on the Esplanade, opposite our Fire Station. The more Northerly beaches have a steep incline into the ocean and even in moderate seas the undertow can be extremely strong. Swimmers also need to be aware of the rocks in the bays and the rip currents associated around them. I’ve listed below some of the best areas and safer spots to indulge your love of the majestic Pacific Ocean.

Gooch’s Beach

This is my personal favourite! Located at the Southern end of the esplanade in Kaikoura Township, this small safe sandy beach is a favourite with swimmers and has some lovely established trees including glorious Pohutakawa to offer shade on sunnier days. The views of the magnificent mountains from this spot are amazing so take your camera! Parking, public toilets, changing sheds, BBQs and a children’s playground are available right on the beach itself. There is a Pontoon just offshore to swim out to. On flat days it is a popular paddle board spot as locals take their boards to the pontoon and eat their lunch! Interestingly, since the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, there has been coastal uplift resulting in Gooch’s being a small surf break on wavy days which is perfect for body boarding and beginner surfers.

Jimmy Armer’s Beach

A bit further along the road, but smaller than the Gooch's Beach, lies Jimmy Armer’s Beach. Another safe sandy beach, and perfect for making sand castles. The beach is shallow for a long way out so even the littlest of children will enjoy a paddle on its calm shore. It is located just before our fur seal colony, which juts out from our famous coastal peninsula. The seal colony is a favourite must see spot, but please take care not to get to close to our seals. While happy to be viewed from a safe distance, they are very protective of their personal space and of their young pups. They have been known to bite if feeling threatened. Parking and dressing sheds and cold showers are available on site. The world famous Kaikoura Seafood BBQ is located here in the summer months and the tempting aromas drift over the beach inviting you to enjoy our sumptuous fresh local seafood right beside the water.

South Bay

This huge gravel beachfront makes up the south side shores of our Kaikoura peninsula. The cute little seaside village here is made up of many classic kiwi baches (holiday homes), harking back to the heyday of the great family getaway. Not much of a surfing beach, but a lovely safe place for a swim and often clearer and with less seaweed than the beaches on the Northern side of the peninsula. Also a great area for paddle-boarding and kayaking when calm. Just make sure you check the weather conditions before you head out! We recommend the 'windy' app. There is a dedicated water skiing zone here too so make friends with some locals or bring your own.

Peninsula walk bays

We love the peninsula walk and it's beautiful bays! The colors of the water are amazing and the bays have transformed since the 2016 7.8 earthquake due to coastal uplift. These are beautiful bays we do not recommend swimming in due to their shallow rocky waters and large seal population so enjoy them from outside the water!

Okiwi bay

A scenic 45 minute drive from Kaikoura is Okiwi bay otherwise known as sandy bay. It's one of our favorite excursions from Kaikoura as it offers a small surf break and beautiful sand. Often we will take the dog for a walk here then head to Kekerengu for lunch or a coffee at  The Store -don't miss their delicious cake slices!




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69 Beach Road
New Zealand