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Traveling on State Highway 1, Kaikoura is an easy 2 1/2-hour drive from Christchurch - unless you use this opportunity to stop over in the Waipara wine region, in which case you should allow a whole day. It is approximately 2 hours south of Blenheim. You can also go by train and the TranzCoastal (tel. 0800/872-467 in NZ; www.tranzscenic.co.nz) is certainly a lovely trip. As a round-trip day trip from Christchurch, it costs NZ$88 for adults and NZ$62 for children ages 2 to 14, but check online for cheaper fares. The train gives you around 5 1/2 hours to explore Kaikoura or go whale-watching. It departs Christchurch at 7:30am and returns at 7pm. One-way fares are also available. ATSNZ Hanmer Connection (tel. 0800/242-663; www.atsnz.com) provides a shuttle service to Kaikoura via Hanmer Springs on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; InterCity (tel. 09/623-1503) and Newmans (tel. 09/623-1504) both pass through the township.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.