If you’re looking for a fun-filled day out then the annual Kaikoura Seafest is not to be missed if you’re in town (or close enough to get there for the day).
Celebrating ocean food as well as the best of New Zealand wine – Seafest is a must for food and wine lovers.
With the tastiest local ocean food and wine from the Kaikoura, Marlborough and North Canterbury regions, you get a whole bunch of choices within the one spot.
The Kaikoura Seafest takes place in October each year, when the weather is (usually) mild and pleasant.
Getting to the Kaikoura Seafest is easy. If you’re travelling from Christchurch, it’s a two hour drive north on State Highway 1.
Or you can take the scenic Coastal Pacific train from Christchurch which comes with stunning views of the coastline along the way.
If you’re coming from further afield, the nearest airport is in Christchurch where you can hire a car or take a shuttle bus to Kaikoura.
When and Where is Kaikoura Seafest
Kaikoura Seafest is an annual event that is held around the beginning of October. The exact date and time for the next edition of the festival have not been announced yet, so keep an eye out for updates on their official website and social media pages.
Seafest is usually held on a Saturday, starting in the late morning and going on until late afternoon or early evening. It’s a one day event only.
Kaikoura Seafest is held at the Takahanga Domain, which is located on the Esplanade in Kaikoura. The domain is a beautiful park that overlooks the ocean, and it provides the perfect setting for the festival.
Kaikoura is a coastal town located on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is approximately 180 km north of Christchurch, which is the closest major city. If you’re driving from Christchurch, the journey takes around 2.5 hours, and it is a scenic drive that takes you through the beautiful countryside of Canterbury.
If you’re coming from further afield, you can fly into Christchurch International Airport and then rent a car or take a bus to Kaikoura. There are also train services that run between Christchurch and Kaikoura, which provide a comfortable and scenic way to travel.
Once you get to Kaikoura then just make your way to the Takahanga Domain which is located on the Esplanade (the main road that runs along the coast).
You can park your car in one of the many parking areas near the domain, or park a bit further away and just walk in from the town centre.
In summary, Kaikoura Seafest is an annual festival that celebrates the abundance of the ocean and all it represents for the Kaikoura region. It is held at the Takahanga Domain, which is located on the Esplanade in Kaikoura, and the exact date and time for the next edition of the festival have not been announced yet. So, keep an eye out for updates on their official website and social media pages.
Food and Drinks
You can expect to indulge in a wide variety of ocean food and the best of New Zealand wine at Kaikoura Seafest. The festival celebrates the region’s rich seafood culture, with dishes ranging from classic fish and chips to more exotic seafood options. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options available, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
Not forgetting the beverage side of things: You can enjoy locally brewed beers, ciders, and a range of New Zealand wines. You can also take part in wine tasting sessions to learn more about the different wines on offer.
The festival boasts a lineup of live music acts with performances from both local and international artists. Anything from from jazz and blues to rock and pop is on offer.
With this musical backdrop there are also cooking demonstrations and competitions, where you can watch some of the region’s top chefs showcase their skills.
You can learn new cooking techniques and get inspiration for your own seafood dishes.
There’s also the annual grape stomp competition. Where you can literally stomp grapes with your feet and compete against other festival-goers. Only in Kaikoura.
There are also art and craft stalls where you can buy locally made souvenirs and gifts. You can also learn more about the region’s history and culture at the interesting heritage displays.
Kaikoura Seafest is a fantastic day out for anyone who loves food, wine, entertainment and just being outdoors in stunning Kaikoura.
Getting to Kaikoura Seafest
Kaikoura Seafest takes place in Takahanga Domain, on the Esplanade in Kaikoura. If you are driving, it is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Christchurch. Or you can take the bus from Christchurch which takes around 3 hours.
If you are coming from further afield, you can fly into Christchurch International Airport and then take a bus or drive to Kaikoura. There are also train services available from Christchurch, with a connecting bus service to Kaikoura.
What will the weather be like at Seafest?
Kaikoura has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cool winters. The best time to visit Kaikoura is during the summer months, from December to February, when temperatures range from 20-25°C. However, the weather can be unpredictable, so it is always a good idea to bring warm clothing and rain gear, just in case.
Kaikoura weather during October is generally cool to mild with day temperatures up to 18°C (64°F) and potentially below 8°C (46°F). Some would describe it as moderately chilly (but comfortable – depending where you’re from) with a sea breeze.
But Seafest visitors should be prepared for sudden changes in weather: rain, sun, and wind can all occur in the same day.
In fact some of the strongest winds in New Zealand have been recorded in October. So take a warmer jacket and/or wear clothing layers to Seafest.
The average OCtober rainfall in Kaikoura is about 70mm (2.8 inches) for the month. This means that there is some chance of rain during the festival but it’s not likely to be heavy or prolonged.
Overall, the weather in Kaikoura during the Kaikoura Seafest is mild and pleasant, with a chance of light rainfall. It’s the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities and events in this beautiful coastal town.
How to Get to Kaikoura Seafest
Car, public transport and coaches can all get you to Seafest.
Driving to Kaikoura Seafest is a great option if you want to explore the surrounding areas. The event is held at Takahanga Domain, on the Esplanade, Kaikoura. From Christchurch, it takes about 2.5 hours to drive to Kaikoura. The drive is very scenic and you will enjoy the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Mountains. There are several car rental companies in Christchurch if you don’t have your own vehicle.
Once you arrive in Kaikoura, you can park your car at the designated parking area and walk to the event venue.
If you prefer not to drive, you can take a bus to Kaikoura Seafest. There are several bus companies that offer services from Christchurch to Kaikoura (InterCity and Atomic Shuttles being two options). The journey takes about 3 hours and the buses are comfortable and air conditioned.
Once you arrive in Kaikoura you can walk to the event venue from the bus stop. It is recommended to check the bus schedule beforehand and book your tickets in advance to avoid any inconvenience.
The Coastal Pacific train runs from Christchurch to Picton, with a stop in Kaikoura. The train journey offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains.
You can walk to the event venue from the train station at Kaikoura. It is recommended to book your train tickets in advance and to check the train schedule beforehand for any changes or delays.
In addition to the festival itself, there are plenty of other events leading up to the festival, including The Big Top Bash which is usually the day before the main event.
Keep in mind that Seafest usually sells out so be quick to get your tickets!