See Kaikoura's oldest surviving building at Fyffe House, a structure first built with whale bone dating back to 1844. The attraction stands as an enduring reminder of Scotsman Robert Fyfe's whaling station, which employed crews to harpoon whales and boil their blubber for oil. Fyfe employed local Maori men for these crews in addition to international workers; the trade continued until the 1840s, when whales became scarce. Locals were forced to turn to sheep and dairy farming instead. Learn about local lifestyle through the decades, which includes insight on the harsh conditions and the resourcefulness of both the natives and European settlers. Displays include dioramas, audio tales, and photographs. Don't miss viewing the whale-bone foundation from the house's exterior while taking a walk around the garden. Use our Kaikoura trip itinerary planning tool to visit Fyffe House on your trip to Kaikoura, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Fyffe House Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
111 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • What a wonderful place with lots to look at. And with a wonderful Lady at the entrance that had so much to tell.
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  • We loved being able to step back into time and see how people lived during 'the olden days'. Seeing whale vertebrae be part of the house's foundations, was amazing!  more »
  • We had a very warm welcome from the lady who was opening the property. When we seemed hesitant to go in she offered free admission “as we were the first customers of the day”. We felt quite uncomforta...  more »
Google
  • Amazing place, beautiful views, great breakfast and very nice owners. Been a pleasure staying there.
  • Fascinating place, really interesting history
  • Awesome, great information
  • Nice house that was part of a former whaling settlement. The coastline here is also picturesque.
  • Great and friendly I know the staff well .

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Where to stay in Kaikoura

As a small town, Kaikoura has a limited number of accommodations, yet it offers a diverse choice for those who stay here. Hotels and motels line the waterfront, while RV parks and hostels are available farther back from the sea. Pre-booking is recommended during peak seasons.
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