Kaikoura ranges from kaikoura lookout

Panoramic Beauty: A Visit to the Kaikoura Lookout

Last Updated: 5th September, 2023

Nestled on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Kaikoura is a hidden gem for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. This charming town in the north of the Canterbury region is known for its incredible scenery, fantastic seafood, and abundant marine life. If you are looking for the best view in town, then a walk up to the Kaikoura Lookout is a must!

Walk over the kaikoura peninsular to the kaikoura lookout

If you’re planning a trip to Kaikoura and are looking for some other awesome things to do and see while you’re here, you should check out my post on the best free things to do in Kaikoura! From beautiful walks, wildlife spotting, and cultural activities, Kaikoura has it all!

The Kaikoura Lookout

Situated on a hill atop the Kaikoura Peninsula, this lookout offers incredible, panoramic views of the surrounding area. From the viewpoint, you can look north over the charming Kaikoura township and along the rugged coastline, with the snow-capped Kaikoura Ranges forming a stunning backdrop. Turn to the south, and you can see over the stunning South Bay, where you can watch the fishing boats heading out into the rich Kaikoura waters.

Getting there:

The Kaikoura Lookout is located on Scarborough Street on the Kaikoura Peninsula, just south of the heart of the town. There is a carpark next to the lookout, or else it can be reached from an easy, scenic walk from town.

Location: 274 Scarborough Street, South Bay

Best Times to Visit the Kaikoura Lookout

The Kaikoura Lookout is an awesome place to visit, especially if you are looking for that insta-perfect photo of Kaikoura and the surrounding landscape. The best time to visit the Kaikoura Lookout is on a clear, sunny day, where you can see for miles along the coastline in either direction!

sunset at the kaikoura lookout

It is also a pretty spectacular place to drive to in the evening, where you can watch the vivid sunset over the Kaikoura Ranges, with the town below highlighted by the golden sunset light. It is absolutely stunning no matter which direction you look!

Kaikoura Lookout Walk

  • Walking Distance: 2.7km one way
  • Walking Time: 45 minutes

This is an easy walk that takes you from the center of Kaikoura all the way up to the stunning Kaikoura Lookout! Beginning near the shops, the path follows the rugged coastline, travelling down the esplanade and along the waterfront, where you get gorgeous views along the beach. Near the end of the esplanade, the path heads inland and up a steep (but thankfully short!) hill, until you reach Scarborough Street and the beautiful lookout!

Take a moment to rest and admire the incredible panoramic views over Kaikoura and South Bay, and remember to bring your camera!

Kaikoura paninsula, kaikoura lookout

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Thank you for reading my post on the Kaikoura Lookout! This is an awesome spot that is often missed during a visit to Kaikoura, and I hope this shows you why it deserves to be on your Kaikoura bucket list!

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