After a short transfer to Buntings Gulley begin walking through the bush and beech forest, with river views below and of the distant snow-covered mountains. Hike up to Skull Peak and spot dolphins in the bay if you are lucky.
Transfer to Buntings Gulley (20 minutes), where the next section of the track was cut through the bush by hand. The route follows the natural contours at a comfortable gradient with minimal disturbance to the local flora. Follow Buntings Stream deep into the gully for about 3 hours, until you reach the skyline. Enjoy the ancient remnants of the beech forest here with a variety of giant podocarps and ferns. See the Conway River below and the vast fir plantations and view the Inland Kaikoura Ranges, usually covered in snow at the beginning and end of the walking season. Walk through more bush where wild pigs hideout in the summer. Upon reaching Skull Peak Shelter you can have a hot drink, fill up your water bottle and rest before the last trek up to the top of Skull Peak, where you have panoramic views of the Kaikoura coastline. From here you may be able to spot Whale Watch encounter boats as it here where sperm whales feed on giant squid in the deep troughs of this part of the South Pacific Ocean. Now walk down to the coast and enter the Mamaku Reserve, an area of coastal bush including native jasmines, clematis and fuchsia trees. Walk up the last little hill to finish where you started at Beach House in Ngaroma. From here you can pick up your rental car from its secure location.