Kaikoura beach is used for swimming mainly in the summer months. It is safest down towards the southern end of the beach and when the surf is under 1 metre. The beach is not patrolled by a Surf Life Saving Club. The region has excellent fishing and there are some good consistent surfing spots up and down the coast, although not on Kaikoura main beach. Facilities and access to Kaikoura beach are good. The Kaikoura area is a popular area for tourists with whale and dolphin watching tours, and seal colonies popular attractions.
Activities and facilities
- Dog walking
- Scuba diving
- Shell fish gathering
- Boat launching
- Car parking
- Food and beverage kiosk
- Public toilets
Forecast provided by SwellMap.com
Safety at Kaikoura Beach
We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Kaikoura Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►
Never swim or surf alone.
4 simple rules to keep you safe
We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Kaikoura Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►
The Water Safety Code:
- Be prepared
- Watch out for yourself and others
- Be aware of the dangers
- Know your limits
Kaikoura beach is located immediately in front of the Kaikoura township. It is 5000 metres in length and is largely shingle, with some golden sand towards the southern end. It has quite a steep slope into the ocean. A small river enters the sea at the town centre and to the south of this are 2 rocky extensions into the ocean. There are a number of visible rocks and reefs in the bay. The beach is bound by a headland to the south and to the north the beach continues into the Kaikoura coastline. Access is via a 2000 metre stretch of road in front of the township. The beach has good facilities.
Beach Water Quality
The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (enterococci) data collected over the last three years. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.
Many councils also provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.