Kaikoura Coast Track. This two-day walk provides uncrowded, unguided hiking and two nights in rustic yet comfortable accommodation along spectacular coastal farmland south of Kaikoura, for 10 people at a time maximum. Take binoculars to search out seals, seabirds, and dolphins. The first day's trail follows the remote coast, you'll pass towering cliffs, sandy beaches, and an ancient buried forest. Day 2 you'll be shown to a trail that explores forest-filled valleys, open tussock country, and farmland. You can expect about 13 km (8 miles) walking each day. Bags are transferred to the next night's accommodations, so you only need to carry a day pack. Reservations are essential. The start point is a ¾-hour drive south of Kaikoura; public transport can drop you at the gate. 356 Conway Flat Rd., Cheviot, Canterbury, 7384. 03/319–2715; www.kaikouratrack.co.nz. NZ$190 per person, including bag transfers. Inquire about all-inclusive meal prices. Daily Oct.–Apr.

Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Public walking trails around the Kaikoura Peninsula show off spectacular coastal scenery and get you close to seal and seabird colonies. You can walk one long circuit from town, around the tip of the peninsula, then back across the top; or just walk out and back along the tip at either the northern or southern sides. There are also shorter walks to lookout points. Consult the Department of Conservation's website for maps and track information. The southern entry point, at South Bay, recognizes the importance of the area to local Māori, whose ancestors lived on this stretch of coast for many generations before Europeans arrived. The first part of the track from South Bay leading to Limestone Bay is wheelchair accessible. The northern access point, by the Point Kean car park, is where you are most likely to encounter seals. They might look like they're sleeping but keep a safe distance, and don't, as observers have done, get yourself between a seal and its escape route to the sea. Penisula Walkway, Kaikoura, Canterbury, 7300. www.doc.govt.nz.

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks. Hike private country that penetrates deep into the towering Kaikoura Mountains, and sleep in luxury. There's no roughing it on this expedition. The three-day guided walk includes overnight accommodations in the purpose-built Shearwater Lodge, high above the Puhi Puhi Valley in the Seaward Kaikoura Range. Up to 12 guests can be accommodated in six super-king or twin en suite rooms, each with its own balcony. The all-inclusive meals are served in the warm lounge and dining room, with its huge window overlooking the mountains. Door-to-door pickup can be arranged from Kaikoura, your luggage is transferred to the lodge, all meals are provided, and the walks are fully guided. You need to be moderately fit and agile and be able to hike five to seven (mild) hours a day. 1695 Puhi Puhi Rd., Kaikoura, Canterbury, 7371. 03/319–6966; 0800/945–337; www.kaikourawilderness.co.nz. NZ$1,895. Sept.–Mar., departs Tues. Reservations essential.