Distance: 8.5km (5.3 mile) Time: 2hrs/morning, 4hrs afternoon
We will arrange to meet you at your accommodation in Kaikoura at 9.00am and transport you via a very scenic route, firstly along the Kaikoura Coast, then up the Puhi Puhi Valley, one of the most spectacular valleys in New Zealand,to the start of the Kaikoura Wilderness Walk. The drive will take approximately 50 minutes. Your luggage will be transported to Shearwater Lodge – your overnight accommodation.
The first part of the walk is a pleasant mix of bush and forest environments; kanuka, manuka, beech, and fern dominate but specimens of rimu and totara can be seen. This part of the walk takes approximately 1.5 - 2 hours and climbs to the vantage point at Totara Saddle, where a picnic lunch is served. Extensive views of the ocean to mountain tops at 2438m(8000ft) can be enjoyed. After lunch the track begins with a downhill section from Totara Saddle to the stream below, then a steady walk up through beech forest for approximately an hour. Climbing gently for 2 hours through an ancient totara forest, you will emerge on to alpine meadows covered in mountain daisies (celmesias), before a short climb to another saddle. From here the first view of Shearwater Lodge can be seen in its outstanding alpine setting. The last hour of the walk traverses several streams before reaching Shearwater Lodge where you will be welcomed by the Lodge Host. Relax for a while, take a rest, and settle into your room. Simply take in the atmosphere and let the cares of the world become a distant memory. A complimentary glass of wine is on hand to assist the winding down process before dinner is served.