YWAM in Kaikoura

Backpacker & Traveler Ministry

The Heart of YWAM In Kaikoura

Our vision statement  is  “every traveler visiting Kaikoura receives the gospel of Jesus, the Messiah.” We have a HEART for Kaikoura and we are a LIGHT to the nations.  

We provide a place for travellers to feel comfortable, to ask the deep questions of life, to have spiritual conversations and seek God. We share our experiences and knowledge of the Bible and it’s teachings.

The Purpose of the Ministry

The purpose of our ministry is to show love to travellers and encourage them to be on a spiritual journey as they are on physical journey around New Zealand. We offer a place where people feel comfortable asking questions about God and the Bible, and where they can explore more about what it means to follow Jesus’s teachings. We reach out to travellers and backpackers and we have a special heart towards Israeli travellers. Generally these backpackers are between the ages of 18-30. A lot of the Israeli travellers are in their early 20s and have just come out of their time serving in the Israeli Defense Force.

When it Happens

Dec-April is our busy season. The vision is to eventually be in Kaikoura year round providing Bible training in the off season.

What We Do

Because we are involved in helping local churches and groups our schedule can look different every day. But a few things we do consistently each week are:

Every fortnight we help to run a Sunday afternoon service for the Presbyterian church called “The Table.” We cook food and lead worship and often help facilitate discussions on Biblical topics. This is a “Fresh Expressions” church service reaching people who don’t come from a church background. This is also a great church environment to invite travellers too.  When we have Israeli guests we try and do a shabbat (Sabbath) meal on a Friday night. We bake traditional Challah bread, and light candles and share the bread and the cup as we bless the Lord’s day.  We also set up a table at the craft market in town every Saturday. We give away free spiritual books and ignite spiritual conversations with travellers. During the summer, we partner with the local Vineyard church to do outreach in the town center. We give out books, sausages, play worship and talk with people.  

Daily we run a hospitality home. We cook, clean, and prepare rooms for Israeli travellers to come stay. We create a space for relationships by prioritizing time with our guests. Sometimes that means hiking together, cooking together, or playing music together. We love creating meaningful connections and value the opportunities we have to share our testimonies, hear our guest’s stories and share Jesus with them.  

Monthly Cost for Joining the Ministry

If you are interested in volunteering with our ministry the costs break down like this:

$250/month for food

$300/month for housing

$100/month for petrol/ministry costs


Hi, I'm Nicki! I grew up in Oregon, USA with a love for the outdoors and a desire to see the world someday. God's love & truth pursued me and I became a believer while at university. After Uni, I joined YWAM in New Zealand to learn more about Jesus. God took me deeper than I could ever imagine! I now know the Father's love, joy, faithfulness and His heart for the nations.

I've been with YWAM for 10 years and most of that time has been with the Backpackers DTS. I discovered a people group that I am deeply passionate about. My interactions with these world travelers has shown me that they are seeking truth, they are open and they need Jesus, the Messiah. I have a heart for this people group and a vision to see them transformed by God.

Some of my favorite things: My nephews and family! Hiking, white-water rafting, camping, SMORES, backpacking and reading books.

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