We were up early in Christchurch to get under way to Rarangi. The Gps suggested the trip was 330 odd k’s and about 3.5 hrs driving.
A quick visit to the dump station to empty tanks and fill up the potable water and we were away. The forecast suggested it would be wet by the time we reached kaikoura, the home of crayfish and whale watching. With light traffic and long straight roads, we were in Cheviot by 10:30! There is a Gallery and Cafe on the left as you come into Cheviot from the south that makes the best Chicken Filo with amazing pastry. If you’re in the area, try it, you won’t be disappointed. The coffee is great too.
After 30 minutes or so, we were on our way to Kaikoura. By the time we arrived, the weather was threatening to rain but almost everything was shut. I overheard one tourist after rattling a door to a closed cafe “what time to they get out of bed here?” Had to laugh but understood where he was coming from. Before we got to Cheviot, we’d stopped at both Greta Valley cafe and Dommett railway cafe to find them both closed with several vans and people wanting some service in the car parks.
Fiona went to the supermarket at Kaikoura which was open, and got some tatare sauce knowing we were looking for some crayfish.
The lady in the supermarket told her about Nins bins which was a caravan on the side of the road 20 k’s north of Kaikoura. By the time we got there it was pouring with rain but Fiona was in a sprint to get through the door to get her cray. The lady in the caravan was great. Fiona chose a cray, she cut it in half in the bench and tossed it into a frypan with Garlic Butter. It was delicious. We paired it off with some lemon, some beer battered chips and heaps of tartare sauce YUM! She even put it on our plates from Rafe so we could sprint back to Rafe through the rain and enjoy lunch.
After a cup of tea to wash it down we were under way to see the seal colony about 3-4 k’s away. The rain was a pain for my camera but we saw enough and got a few piccies so we were on our way to Blenheim.
We were making a return visit to a chocolate factory we visited on the way down and after this a craft centre which we drive past earlier that I promised we’d go back to. There was also wine tasting as well so while Fiona was doing the crafts, I checked out some nice Chardys and Pinots!
10 k’s away was our overnight stop at Rarangi, a DOC park on the water.
After settling in, we went for a walk up to the point and to Monkey Bay where there are caves have completely undermined the cliff with the water.
Tomorrow, we’re off to Picton to catch the ferry to Wellington to start our trip north.