- Mountains to the Sea 

5 Day Kaikoura Tour
South Island, NZ

Kaikour Tour Fitness Level Required 2+/5

Explore dramatic coastal scenery, immerse yourself in unique heritage, and make new friends on this fun and informative small group Kaikoura tour.

Join us on an epic 5-day tour of beautiful Kaikōura, an area steeped in history. This tour will introduce you to the area’s kaitiaki. 


Spend your days exploring Kaikōura by land, air and sea. Learn of the natural history, hear intriguing stories and be fascinated by the local wildlife. Meet the locals, visit privately owned Queen Elizabeth 11 conservation reserves and learn from a local Kaumātua about the Kaikōura's rich cultural heritage. 


Combine this amazing environment with our friendly and experienced tour guides and a great group of people, all sharing similar interests.


All accommodation, transport and meals are organised for you.

Tour Highlights

  • A one and a half hour, private, dawn boat charter with Encounter Kaikoura to view the Hutton's Shearwaters with commentary by bird expert Gary Melville 

  • Privately guided Utility Terrain Vehicle tour with Alistair Trewin from Glenstrae 4WD Adventures 

  • Private scenic helicopter flight with Kaikoura Helicopters 

  • Meeting local farming families

  • A private cultural tour with a local Kaumātua

  • Hear local’s accounts of their experience and recovery from the 2016 earthquake 

  • Guided tours of 3 Queen Elizabeth II conservation areas

  • Local stories from your friendly, professional guides

(Some of the experiences are weather dependent and may occur on a different day or be replaces with a new activity).

Meet new friends, try new things.

Tour Departure Dates:


Monday 26th Sept 2022

Monday 28 Nov 2022​

(These are the best months for seeing the Huttons shearwaters.​

Tour Price:


NZ$4,450 per person

Twin share but single supplement maybe available on a first come first served basis.

Group Size:

8 + 2 Driftwood Guides

Tour Duration:

4 nights, 5 days


2 SUV vehicles with driver/guides


Twin share at the beautiful Te Mahuru Retreat with local hosts Jen and Paul


0800 708 844

Black Spur hut
Black Spur hut

Clarence Reserve

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Te Mahuru Retreat in Kaikoura
Te Mahuru Retreat in Kaikoura

Relax in the serenity of the retreat after an action packed day

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Te Mahuru Retreat accommodation on our Kaikoura tour
Te Mahuru Retreat accommodation on our Kaikoura tour

Enjoy the Garden

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Tour Itinerary 

Meet Rebekah and David Kelly of Woodchester farm, who will share their experience of the 2016 earthquake, which caused a slip to block the Leader River, forming Lake Rebekah. After a guided walk at their Queen Elizabeth 11 conservation reserve, visit Ferniehurst Farm where you can take a ‘selfie’ at the foot of a 120 year old Eucalyptus. 

Nicky McArthur will share her passion for the endemic Hutton’s shearwater (puffinus huttoni) , tītī , which breed in her 1000 acre, high country QE11 conservation area, Puhi Peaks. You’ll view these birds on a privately chartered Albatross Encounter voyage, with a pelagic specialist on board to answer your questions. 

Meet the creators of the Kaikōura Coast Track. Track creator David Handyside will take you on a guided bush walk into Medina, a community managed QE11 conservation area, to admire the remnant matai and kahikatea. 

​We are privileged to have local Kaumātua, Maurice Manawatu take us on a private cultural tour of the area, you will hear stories of his ancestors and the early history of the Kaikōura Coast. 

Jane and Derrick Millton live on their family farm, Waipapa, beside the Clarence River. Jane is the author of a popular children’s book “Moo and Moo and the Little Calf too” a true story of a cow and calf who survive the earthquake. See the escarpment where Little Moo was rescued

Your professional, friendly guides will drive you over the rugged Seaward Kaikōura Range, into the remote Clarence Valley. There you will visit historic musterer’s huts and take in views over Muzzle and Molesworth Station. Your guides will share intriguing stories of the early settlers.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Pick up and drop off from anywhere in Kaikōura

  • 4 nights accommodation with breakfasts

  • A professionally designed menu, unique for this tour is dropped off fresh to your retreat each day, Guests will be asked to take turns heating, serving and cleaning up afterwards, there is a butler’s kitchen and a dishwasher

  • Driftwood Eco Tours offsets its carbon emissions for the year by donating to the Puhi Peaks conservation reserve via Toitu Enviromark.

  • Two experienced tour guides on each tour, so we can personalize your experience for you.

  • One evening meal is at a local restaurant

  • Morning teas and lunches are a combination of catered picnics and local hospitality

  • Alcoholic drinks are B.Y.O

  • Access fees to private and DoC property

Other Details

Do you need help with organising transport, flights or insurance for your tour? We can refer you to a person who can organise your travel and travel insurance before and after your tour. Just let us know how as early as possible.

We are committed to keeping everyone safe, including the people we visit. To achieve this we have put in place a Covid 19 code of practice. Please read this here.


Want to create your own private tour? Talk to us about creating a completely customised personal tour for you, your partner, family or friends. We would love your dreams become reality. 

"Fabulous scenery and tantalizing family and social histories"
Jacky Renouf