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Kaikōura Mountains to Sea Marathon, Canterbury

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Kaikōura Mountains to Sea MarathonIntermediate

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands


6:00 (Slow)
4:10 (Moderate)
3:15 (Fast)



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This trail follows the course for the Kaikōura Mountains to Sea Marathon, A joint fundraiser for Kaikoura High School and Kaikoura Lions Club.

Starting at South Bay Racecourse you will head alongside the beach on the grass/sand verge to the end of South Bay domain take the Peninsula walk path that has a short steep climb to bring you on top of the Peninsula. Then you will follow the path across the Peninsula with its amazing views to the northern side at the Seal colony, a short (1 km) stretch along the boardwalk and road to climb back to the top of the Peninsula. Follow the road on top of the Peninsula to St Pauls track and steep descent down a path known as "The Stairway." 

Continue on along the bike track of gravel and sand south towards the Kowhai River. This amazing track has been made with the hard work of the Kaikoura Cycle Club and varies in width and substrate – gravel, sand and dirt. Runners follow this track heading up the Kowhai River toward Mt Fyffe, until their turnaround points at the Mt Fyffe car park and a return journey on a gravel roadway back to the Kowhai River Bridge.

The elevation is gradual with short steep parts but climbing all the way.  On the return to South Bay runners go past the racecourse to the stile at the end of the grassed area (where housing starts on the ocean side of the road), turning back to the entry to the racecourse, around the back of the racecourse to the start/finish.

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Features of interest

On the peninsula section of the run, runners are able to see the seabed uplift from the 2016 earthquake and the beautiful Kaikōura ranges.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 60%

Gravel Road: 30%

Sealed Road: 10%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    On the south side of South Bay Parade, 100 m from SH 1 turnoff.

    Plenty of parking at the rest area, on South Bay Parade.

    0 km

    0 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Postmans Rd (end of single track) - runners will pop out of the single track section onto gravel and will need to enter a private paddock. It is possible to navigate your way around the private paddock - turn right after exiting the single track and then left on Chapman's rd.

    Generally good.

    Lightweight fleece top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    There is water at the small domain picnic area, close to SH1, roughly 10 km into the run.

    The peninsula section is very exposed, especially to southerly winds.

  • Post run indulgence

    Flo & Co.
    Kaikōura, 13a West End
    Great coffee, hearty and healthy food, vegan and gluten free options, warm fire when it's cold.

    Beach House Cafe
    Beach Rd Kaikoura
    Great coffee, food and atmosphere.

  • Blog Posts and Articles


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