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Private Walking Track New Zealand Guided Walking Tours Kaikoura

Our wilderness walks take you on an exclusive guided hike at a gentle pace through the Puhi Nature Reserve high in the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range.

ABOUT US - What we do....

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks takes you on an exclusive guided walk through the privately owned Puhi Peaks Nature Reserve. Over 3 days our guests enjoy the 'ultimate wilderness experience'. Nicky, and her team of expert, local guides look forward to taking you through this outstanding alpine environment and hosting you at the luxurious Shearwater Lodge.

The Team

Nicky McArthur is the Owner/Operator/Managing Director of Kaikoura Wilderness Experience Limited (KWE) and the host at Shearwater Lodge. Although involved with the company since 2003 when Kaikoura Wilderness Walks was first established, Nicky has been in sole charge since 2008.

Kaikoura WIlderness Walks (KWW) is the trading name of Kaikoura Wilderness Experience Limited.

Nicky's son Sam is the Principal Guide and Operations/Property Manager. Nicky's other two sons, James and Harry both contribute to the operation of KWE through guiding, and track and road maintenance when necessary.

The Location...

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks offers a path of discovery, a varied walking experience which takes you through the Puhi Peaks Nature Reserve, a renowned haven for a diverse array of flora and fauna. This unique property on the north-east coast of New Zealand's South Island is just 30km from the small town of Kaikoura. The area takes in a portion of the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range, which at 457m(1500ft), is the highest, privately owned property in New Zealand. In its upper reaches, "Puhi Peaks" is a pristine alpine wonderland and is the location of Shearwater Lodge.

Hutton's Shearwater...

The area known as the Puhi Peaks Nature Reserve is home to one of the tworemaining colonies in the world of the endangered Hutton's shearwater (Puffinus huttoni) which nest in burrows high in the mountains just north of Shearwater Lodge. The establishment of a charitable trust for the protection of this endangered seabird set in motion the process to have the entire upper area protected, in perpetuity, under a QE II National Trust Protection Covenant.

The Hutton’s Shearwater Trust (HST) was established in 2009 to ‘encourage and promote the preservation, conservation, research, public education, and sustainable management of the Hutton’s shearwater’. Nicky is not only a member of this trust but also convenor of the Friends of the Hutton's Shearwater formed to ensure the future of this endangered species


Birds and Fauna of The Puhi Peaks Reserve New Zealand

The reserve is also New Zealand's eastern most habitat for the kea. Other species of bird likely to be seen are the bellbird, fantail, tomtit, pipit, finch, South Island robin, NZ falcon, harrier hawk, rifleman and more. Other wildlife includes red deer, chamois and Arapawa sheep, all of which roam freely in this habitat.

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks Newsletter

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks Newsletter

‘Other Stuff’

Hutton’s Shearwaters
Protection of the endangered Hutton’s shearwater has been high on the agenda for Nicky. This year, KWE’s team has worked with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to monitor the nesting site. In particular, focus has been on stoat control which at 6,500ft has proved a mammoth task involving a local helicopter company and volunteer staff. Funding has been secured from several organisations. Alongside this, KWE is monitoring and culling deer in the Puhi Peaks Reserve.

To find out more about Hutton's Shearwaters go to

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Responsible Tourism Statement 2014

Kaikoura Wilderness Experience Limited is proud to operate within the Kaikoura District. Kaikoura is the first Green Globe Community in New Zealand, an outstanding achievement. In 2011 this branding changed to Earthcheck.

Responsible Tourism means being pro-active in implementing changes for a brighter future not only for Kaikoura Wilderness Experience Limited as a company, but for the environment, the local community, New Zealand and ultimately the world.

Our Mission Statement is:
“to inspire each and every one of us to honour our relationship with the earth and its peoples”.

Core Values: -

We are committed to environmentally sound practices in all areas of our business, are often complimented on our attention to detail, and provide a unique guest & staff experience with a strong learning focus.

Kaikoura Wilderness Experience Limited prides itself on initiating, and working towards, significant change. We identify the current situation, explore alternatives, take action and reflect on the outcome, not only at Puhi Peaks Station but also in the Kaikoura community and beyond.

As owner/operator of Kaikoura Wilderness Experience Limited, I (Nicky McArthur) see it as a huge privilege to own some of New Zealand’s highest freehold land. “Kaitiaki “acting as caretaker and guardian of this land which we are only ever lent is dear to my heart and to that end over 2,000 acres (860ha) is protected by a covenant, one of the largest privately protected conservation areas.

“Through understanding and education of our family, our staff, our guests and our community we are endeavouring to leave a legacy for future generations”

Nicky McArthur
Owner/Operator & Managing Director

Qualmark Member/Qualmark Endorsed Activity/Enviro Gold Award

Kaikoura Wilderness Experience Limited is a member of  Qualmark and is registered as a Qualmark Endorsed Activity.  Qualmark is a recognized industry body which promotes minimum standards for tourism operators but expects extremely high standards.

Qualmark is an independent, quality assessment process backed by New Zealand Tourism.

The comprehensive assessment examines every aspect of your company’s operation from safety standards, vehicle maintenance through to employment relations.

Qualmark also promote and encourage responsible tourism. Kaikoura Wilderness Walks is proud to be recognized through Qualmark’s Responsible Tourism scheme with a Enviro Gold Award.

Member of the Sustainable Business Network

Member of the Sustainable Business Network

TIA Member - Tourism Industry Association

TIA is an umbrella organisation for the tourism industry providing industry leadship, co-ordination and response to membership issues.

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks New ZealandEnlarge Image

Three Day Guided Walk

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