Kaikoura  New Zealand

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!

Marlborough, New Zealand

World renown for Savignon Blanc, green lip mussels, stunning scenery, crayfish, wineries, and more .  This area is a must visit.Like an oil painting, the canvas of mud flats at Havelock, roll into the distance, providing a different view of one of the Sounds entrances.  Every part of region varies greatly.  Here you will find everything from sandy to gravel rugged beaches, rolling foot hills to mountains, beautiful sounds sea waters to pounding coastal waves, long valley roads to those that wind their way around the hills.   As you round every, corner a new vista awaits.

Travel through the Queen Chalotte Drive from Havelock to Picton, ensuring you allow plenty of time to stop along the way/. You will have to stop to drink in the pure beauty of the area.   As you wind your way through the Drive to Picton, the passing scenery constantly changes from bays to hilltop views, even a sprinkling of paddocks.  To miss this drive would be a shame, it does give you an idea of how the Sounds are  formed.


Crystal blue waters host the yachts and boats moored near the cosy, nestled houses.  Even in the winter the chill, the Sounds look amazing.   Every twist or corner, each bay fills your eyes with new vistas.And so it continues through to the outlook overlooking Picton.  Time this right and you will have photo opportunities with either one or both ferries docked in the Port.Acres upon acres of vineyards occupy Marlborough.  As far as the eye can see, rows of  vines stand proud against their wires.

 And yest, the backdrop behind some of these rows, or their neighbouring paddocks, can be breathtaking, to say the least.The pure diversity of this region is not only in the surrounding areas, but in the produce arising from this area.   

 If you’re a wine buff, time your visit with the annual Wine & Food Festival in February.   Popular with locals and visitors alike, the festival showcases Matlborough and its produce.

Enjoy your visit!