Fyffe House

On a vast ocean’s edge, a little whaler’s cottage rides on a whale’s back.  A link to Kaikoura's past, Fyffe House is the town's oldest surviving building and encompasses far more than a house site.

Fyffe House in its setting

Set in one of the most stunning locations imaginable, Fyffe House will touch your spirit. With a house literally built on whaling (some of the foundations are whale bones) this area is the cradle of the meeting of European and Maori in this area.  

Kaikoura has always been known as a 'place for food'.  Maori carved a living from the rich fisheries, seabirds and kumara while the Europeans founded their settlement on the oil of the Southern Right Whale, used to light the homes of Europe.

A tour of Fyffe House really brings home just how raw and harsh life was and how tough and resourceful both Maori and Europeans were to survive here.  Fyffe is beautiful in the summer and other seasons bring a backdrop of snowy peaks.  For an authentic feel of the power of nature and the scale of endeavour required to survive, a stormy day will bring a memorable intensity to a visit.

Stroll around Fyffe and enjoy its many features including the “Pou Tangaroa”, our carving telling the story of tohora (the southern right whale), moa and the people of this place.  Fyffe House also boasts a small but delightful English cottage garden.

A dramatic landscape where peoples reaped the rewards of a rich coastal environment.


  • 62 Avoca Street
  • Kaikoura
  • 7300

Contact Information

Opening Hours

  • Daily, October - April, closed Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day
  • 10am - 5pm
  • Thursday - Monday, May - September
  • 10am - 4pm


Adult: $10 Student (tertiary): $5 Children: free. Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.