Top of South Island – Day 2

Continuing our journey to the top of South Island, Kaikoura, here we come !

Day 2 – 1/1/16

The drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura took us past the surf beaches of Woodend, Waikuku, Leithfield and Amberley. Waipara is known for its vineyards and olive groves.  From Cheviot we detoured to Gore Bay to see the fascinating cliff formations. The impressive scenery of the coastal ranges accompanied the rest of the way to Kaikoura.  

Few places in the world can boast of such nature wonders as those offered by land and sea in Kaikoura. The seaside settlement is the most northern district in the Canterbury region located on the east coast of the South Island, 2.5 hours drive from Christchurch.

A town with its own fascinating history, archaeological remains indicate that Moa Hunters inhabited the peninsula 900 years ago. In Maori legend, Maui placed his foot on the Kaikoura peninsula to steady himself while he ‘fished-up’ the North Island. The Maori name Kaikoura translates to ‘meal of crayfish’ (Kai – food, koura – crayfish), and it is crayfish for which the region has traditionally been famous. The area’s abundant food sources attracted Maori settlement, and the remains of several pa sites can still seen on the peninsula to this day.

We didn’t get to feast on a cray as the ‘specials’ were sold out and the price for a cray ranged from $120 and up which wasn’t any cheaper if not dearer than Auckland.  Perhaps it was due to the new year and fishermen taking a break, which was my only guess.

We spent a night here but will definitely be back for more.  It’s a divine, beautiful and peaceful place to rejuvenate.  It’s probably the best town of all the towns we visited for this trip.  From Christchurch to Kaikoura, Blenheim, Picton, Nelson and Hanmer Springs.



A stop by the surf beach of Waikuku


Waipara Hills Vineyard


Cliffs formation @ Gore Bay


Scenic drive to Kaikoura


Walkway to South Bay


Beautiful Kaikoura


Our Motel has a walkway to the beach front.  I had fun piling pebbles on the beach singing to the tune of ABC.  Beautiful nature and back to basics.


Kaikoura Town


Peninsula Seal Colony – up so close & personal

It was raining the evening we arrived Kaikoura and after failing to find any affordable cray for dinner, we drove to the Peninsula and saw a few seals at close range.

More photos to follow on our Day 3 journey to be continued ………….

A visit to Waipara Hills Winery


Waipara Hills Winery

Last week, while driving to Hanmer Springs we stopped by this lovely countryside winery.

Just 45 minutes north of Christchurch on State Highway 1, set amongst the vineyards, is the iconic stone building that’s home to Waipara Hills. Here you’ll discover an operating winery, Cellar Door and bistro style cafe.

It’s the extreme natural environments of the mountains, hills and valleys of the South Island that gives the wine of Waipara Hills its intensity, character and complexity – wine that expresses the true soul of the South.

Along the way, we passed the lovely sights of this peaceful South Island countryside enroute to Hanmer Springs.

Waipara Hills Winery Lovely setting Winery Cattles Sheep Bridge Frog Rocks

Related Link
Check out the Waipara Hills Wines Website