The Honeymoon Guide to Kaikoura© ChristchurchNZ
The Honeymoon Guide to Kaikoura

The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Kaikoura

© ChristchurchNZ

How to Plan a Honeymoon or Romantic Getaway to Kaikoura

If you find romance in watching beautiful wildlife and being surrounded by breathtaking scenery, then Kaikoura is definitely one to add to the New Zealand honeymoon itinerary. The small coastal town offers an array of unique experiences, from whale watching flights all year round to gorgeous coastal and forest walks. Accommodation for couples is boutique and personal, making even the most budget options feel like luxury. So start planning some romantic experiences, where to stay and where to eat with this honeymoon and romantic getaway guide to Kaikoura!

While we list more romance-related experiences in this guide, find more generic activities to do in Kaikoura in our 20 Best Things to Do in Kaikoura.

The Top Romantic Things to Do and Honeymoon Ideas in Kaikoura

  • Walk hand-in-hand along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
  • Enjoy an intimate whale-watching flight with Wings Over Whales or Air Kaikoura
  • Check out the stunning Puhi Puhi Walk
  • Learn something new together at the Kaikoura Museum
  • Gush over the cute lambs at Point Sheep Shearing
  • Learn a new skill with surf lessons with Kiwi Surf Experience
  • Test your relationship in a double kayak on a kayaking tour with Seal Kayak Kaikoura or Kaikoura Kayaks
  • Team up to solve an escape room at The Emporium
  • Watch one of the world’s most romantic birds with Albatross Encounter
  • Sample crayfish together, as well as more of Kaikoura’s dining scenery at Nin’s Bin, Zephyr or Sime’s Kitchen.

Find out more about each activity in our list of 10 Most Romantic Things to Do in Kaikoura.

The Honeymoon Guide to Kaikoura© ChristchurchNZ

Outdoor Adventures in Kaikoura for Couples

Most of the action in Kaikoura is outside, or better yet, out on the water. Here, we share some of the top outdoor experiences for couples.

Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

Stretching your legs is a fun and free thing to do together, especially on the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. The 11 km (7 mi) track encompasses dramatic coastal scenery matched with lookouts over seal colonies. Seals even make their way onto the track, which is exciting to see but be sure to keep your distance! Find out more about the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and other popular walks in the 5 Best Walks in Kaikoura.

Albatross Cruise

While swimming with dolphins and whale watching is extremely popular in Kaikoura, no wildlife is quite as romantic as the albatross. These large seabirds mate for life, which you can learn more about on the Albatross Encounter tour. This bird-watching cruise takes you out to the edge of the Kaikoura Canyon, a deep underwater canyon harbouring nutrients that attracts all the famous local wildlife, where your skipper and guide will attract large pelagic birds for you to see close-up. Nothing compares to seeing these majestic seabirds up close.


Try your chances at an even closer wildlife encounter, while enjoying the interesting coastal scenery, with one of Kaikoura’s kayaking tours. Choose to either peddle or paddle with Seal Kayak Kaikoura or jump into a double kayak with Kaikoura Kayaks (more info on Viator and Klook). Either way, your teamwork will be put to the test manoeuvring together across the ocean with the high likelihood of encountering seals, penguins and maybe even dolphins. See experiences like this in the 5 Top Wildlife Activities in Kaikoura.

Whale-Watching Flight

You probably know that whale watching and dolphin swimming are a must-do in Kaikoura, but we find that whale-watching flights are just a little more romantic… Join a whale-watching flight with Wings Over Whales (more info on Viator and Klook) or Air Kaikoura, for a small-group tour and a more intimate experience. Soar over whales where you can see the majestic mammals from head-to-tail before they take their impressive dive into the deep.

Alternatively, enjoy the manoeuvrability and “action hero” feeling of flying over the whales by helicopter with South Pacific Helicopters or Kaikoura Helicopters. All of the flights mentioned above will also take the time to watch pods of dolphins from the sky if the opportunity arises. See more experiences like this in our 7 Luxury Experiences in Kaikoura.

The Honeymoon Guide to Kaikoura© ChristchurchNZ

Indoor Activities in Kaikoura for Couples

If you need a break from the sea breeze or the weather isn’t playing ball, here are a few all-weather activities to keep you and your loved one entertained in Kaikoura.

Couples’ Spa Treatments

If you’re not already staying at one of Kaikoura’s (and New Zealand’s) most unique accommodations, then at least pop in for one of its indulgent spa treatments. Situated at the Hapuku Lodge + Treehouses, the Kawakawa Studio Spa boasts a tempting array of spa packages to restore and indulge, as well as to enhance the romance with couples’ massages. Reservations are essential. Learn more about the lodge at the 15 Best Luxury Accommodations in Kaikoura.

Escape Room

Challenge yourselves to escape a room within one hour at The Emporium Escape Rooms. The escape room complex, which also has an on-site brewery, offers two themed escape rooms where couples and groups work together to solve a series of puzzles and clues to escape the room! After the experience, celebrate the success or drown your sorrows with a craft beer made on-site. There is an 18-hole mini-golf course on the complex too.

Kaikoura Museum

Ah museums, you can always rely on them on a rainy day. The Kaikoura Museum is well worth checking out thanks to its fascinating displays about Kaikoura’s wildlife, Maori culture, the town’s fishing and whaling history, as well as an exhibition about the 2016 earthquakes that shaped the landscape.

The Honeymoon Guide to Kaikoura©

Romantic Restaurants in Kaikoura

You won’t find the most lavish fine dining in Kaikoura. You will, however, find down-to-earth dining experiences and specialities that are hard to find anywhere else.

Where to Try Seafood in Kaikoura

Be sure to try fresh crayfish (the seafood that Kaikoura was named after by the local Maori) at Nin’s Bin (State Highway 1). This quirky food truck is located 20 minutes north of Kaikoura. Otherwise, dine at the casual Kaikoura Seafood BBQ (55 Fyffe Quay), which also serves mouthwatering crayfish meals.

Cute Cafes in Kaikoura

For lunch, try Sime’s Kitchen (33 Beach Road) for their fresh carefully-sourced organic cafe meals in a casual setting. Alternatively, check out Hiku, the cafe/restaurant of the Sudima Kaikoura (114 Esplanade) boasting delightfully local meals like crayfish omelette to all your international crowd-pleasers.

A homely environment with separate rooms to find your own quiet corner, the Beach House Cafe (39 Beach Road) boasts a diverse menu of seasonal food and both meat-lovers and vegans. And if you can’t get enough of Kaikoura’s cafe scene, be sure to discover Flo & Co (13a West End); a modern yet homely setting for all of New Zealand’s usual breakfast, brunch and lunch favourites, from “eggs bene” to “whitebait sammie”.

Dinner Recommendations for Kaikoura

Delight in a three-course lunch or dinner with a seasonal menu with ingredients sourced from the very own garden of Hapuku Lodge + Treehouses (State Highway 1), as well as local gardeners, farms and fisherfolk, no doubt deepening your appreciation for New Zealand cuisine. Reservations are essential.

In the heart of Kaikoura, Zephyr (40 West End) is a good go-to for high-quality fare with everything, from the pate to the ravioli, made in-house. The menu is based on French cuisine, with a high focus on meats but vegetarian options are still available.

More About Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways to Kaikoura

That’s it for our honeymoon and romantic getaway guide to Kaikoura. For more advice for a trip to Kaikoura that doesn’t necessarily fall into the “romantic” category, check out the following:

You can find even more tips for couples in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand. Plus, plan the rest of your road trip using the South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks or South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: One Week.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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