Fyffe House, Kaikoura

Fyffe House is a fascinating historic site and it’s the oldest building in Kaikoura. You can find it at 62 Avoca St, Kaikoura.

You can’t miss this pink building which essentially just looks like an old colonial house, with funky paint.

One of the most interesting things about Fyffe House is that it was actually built out of whale bones and local limestone. The house was originally built in the 1860s by a whaling captain named Robert Fyffe

As unpleasant and sad as it is to us today, back in the old days whaling was a major industry in Kaikoura (and other parts of Australasia).

Whale bone was considered to be a valuable and versatile material to people way back then.

Visit historical Fyffe House in Kaikoura, New Zealand

A lot of people aren’t aware that this is not the original site of the house – Fyffe House was moved from its original location in the 1960s.

The house was in danger of being destroyed by erosion, so a team of volunteers and engineers worked together to move the entire building to its current location on a hill overlooking the sea.

Fyffe House is now a museum which is open to the public for guided tours and self-guided visits.

Fyffe House is easy to get to:

Located halfway around the Kaikōura Peninsula, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Fyffe is accessible by car (parking available on site) or you can park in the town centre and walk to the house.

If you’re going from the town centre, head east on Beach Road towards the Kaikoura Peninsula. Turn right on to Avoca Street and continue until you reach the house. It will take just a few minutes car or 20 minutes walking.

The road leading to Fyffe House is narrow and winding, and might not be suitable for some larger vehicles like campervans or buses.

Guided Tours

Guided tours of Fyffe House are available for visitors who want to learn more about the history of the house and the early whaling industry. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide insights into the lives of the early settlers and the challenges they faced, among other interesting historical tales. The tours are available at set times throughout the day and run for about 45 minutes.

You can also book private tours for groups of up to 15 people. Private tours need to be booked in advance and are subject to availability.

Self-Guided Visits

Visitors can explore Fyffe House at their own pace with a self-guided tour. The house is open daily from 10am to 4pm, and you can purchase tickets at the property entrance. Self-guided tours include access to all areas of the house and grounds, including the whalebone foundations and the wonderful historic garden.

Cost of Visiting Fyffe House

Admission to Fyffe House is free for Heritage New Zealand members. For everyone else admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $5 for children aged 5-15. Children under 5 can visit for free.
Just be aware that Fyffe House can be closed during the winter months or for maintenance, so check in advance at that time of year.