Boardered by rugged mountains on one side, open ocean stretching further than the eye can see on the other, lies the township of Kaikoura. The State Highway runs between the mountain range and the sea, providing access to Kaikoura from the South and the North.
With limited time to spare, we chose a day trip from Blenheim to Kaikoura. A very easy day drive, less than 2 hours each way. However if you have a little more time, make this stunning area a place to stop over.
Coming in from the North, we were greeted with spectacular scenery, as in the photos. Suddenly from a road winding next to the sea, we turned the corner onto a straight, where your first reaction is “Wow”! Really the photos do not do the area justice especially as sheer, snow topped mountains sprang into view.
With its name meaning “Meal of Crayfish”, it is no wonder Kaikoura is renown for its Crayfish. Unfortunately for Hubby it was the wrong time of year for the fresh Crayfish however, so he missed out on this round. Next visit though, we will ensure we have better timing to enjoy the fresh ones!Time to stretch the legs, with a wander on the foreshore to drink in the beauty of these vistas, before strolling back through the township itself. Luckily for us we had chosen one of the most beautiful days to visit. Yes it was chilly, however the sea itself stretched out before us, amazingly flat with the smallest waves lazily lapping the sandy beach.
Another plus was the sheer lack of people enjoying the area. Certainly nothing was crowded here, although this may be different at times of the high tourist seasons. After walking up an appetite, it was time to seek a venue for lunch.
The Main Street was sprinkled with cafes, a few were shut for the off season, one pub didn’t actually open until 3pm. We did however decide upon the Adelphi Hotel. Here the welcoming, enclosed balcony looked like a nice sunny, sheltered place away from the chill breeze. Both of us decided upon the Blue cod, one battered with mash, one pan fried.
We made the right choice, both of these meals were delicious! The pan fried blue cod was delightfully light and a pleasure to eat. Hubby loved his battered cod and, thankfully, assisted with the consumption of my chips.
Our decision to enjoy a quiet meal and drink in the Adelphi was a good choice. Here you could watch the world go by, without feeling cold. In fact the winter sun rays filtering through the window, warmed you through to the bone marrow.
Eventually it was time to head back to Blenheim. As much as we had enjoyed our outing, we just did have the time to linger. However if you do, there are a number of activities you can check out in the local area.
Our last stop after leaving the township, was at the Ohau Point Seal Colony. With a moving canvas of slippery seal bodies, the seal colony is entertaining and only requires a stop on the side of the highway. We could have watched these amusing creatures for longer, if it weren’t for the sun dropping behind the mountain, causing the air temperature to rapidly drop. Still, during the time we were there, we did see a rock pool full of baby seals, playing, ducking, diving and amusing themselves, whilst the majority of adults caught up up on some sleep.Some were too tired to make it very far, simply resting on the nearest rock…
Others chose a more comfortable setting…Pay a visit to Kaikoura, even if it is just a brief stop. There’s a lot to see, and it strikes you as one of those areas you need to see in all weathers. As well as the township, don’t forget to check out the seals. Great free entertainment for all!