Seaward Kaikōura Range

(31 routes)

Anyone approaching the Kaikōura peninsula can hardly fail to notice the rugged high peaks towering above the coastal strip, and remarkably close to the sea. Manakau, the highest peak on the range, is only 12km from the coast, and in winter the snowy summits seem tantalisingly close. The range experiences climatic extremes – dry in summer, southerly storms and snow in winter. Vegetation cover was greatly modified in Polynesian times by burning and later by pastoral clearing. Pockets of original podocarp forest remain, and some Hall’s tōtara and red beech on higher slopes. There are extensive areas of subalpine scrub, kānuka and mānuka. Like its inland counterpart, the Seaward Kaikōura Ranges was formed by rapid land uplift, and there is much evidence of faulting and erosion on the dry and barren upper slopes.


Peaks of the southern range are reached from the Kowhai and Hapuku Rivers. Peaks north of Manakau are climbed from the Puhi Puhi Valley and Miller Stream. Western approaches from the Waiau Toa Clarence Valley are remote and seldom used.
There is a skifield (Mt Lyford) on private land at the very southern end of the range. From here you can access some moderate gully climbs on the south and south-east faces of Mt Terako. Note that if you walk out of the ski area you must sign an intentions book, since the skifield operators are responsible for safety.

-42.167500000000, 173.702400000000
O30 680 931
BT27 580 314
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Traverse of the Seaward Kaikouras 1
A complete traverse of the range, from George Spur to Tarahaka, Te Ao Whekere, Manakau and Mt Saunders to Snowflake is quite feasible, and has been done on several occasions.
Ben Winnubst Photos: (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) and Shaun Barnett/ Black Robin Photography


Type Title Link to edit content
Range Haycock Range (0 routes)
Mountain Mackintosh Knob (0 routes)
Pass George Saddle (0 routes)
Mountain Pt 2311 (0 routes)
Mountain Tarahaka (4 routes)
Mountain Pt 2414 (0 routes)
Mountain Te Ao Whekere (4 routes)
Mountain Manakau (6 routes)
Mountain Uwerau (4 routes)
Pass Kowhai Saddle (0 routes)
Mountain Mt Fyffe (8 routes)
Mountain Mt Saunders (1 route)
Mountain Shattered Pk (1 route)
Mountain Snowflake (2 routes)
Mountain Pt 1757 (0 routes)
Mountain Warder (0 routes)
Mountain Pt 1593 (0 routes)
Range Hawk Range (0 routes)