When I left off last issue we were just boarding the Interislander bound for Picton. Following a smooth voyage and an on-time arrival we disembarked with a mission to get as far south as possible by nightfall.

We prefer not to arrive at new camping grounds after dark, so stopping during daylight hours with time to prepare dinner (preferably a BBQ) is important. Last year there was the problem with delays on the Kaikōura coast part of the journey, but this year there was no such impediment.

Once I get on the road I like to press on to whatever destination we have chosen, although there are obvious temptations to dally, and as we proceeded south we passed all those lovely vineyards with their tasting rooms, and the co-driver decided we should stop in to at least one, or more. That would have been lovely had I not been driving! Fortunately, from my point of view, they all displayed closed signs and that meant we could proceed without delay. One day I would like to stay nearby, perhaps in Blenheim, and hire a limo to take us from vineyard to vineyard, the only possible downside being the temptation to buy at least a case of wine at each.

Pull out area for seal watching on the Kaikōura coast

We were very impressed with progress made in the past year on the rebuilding of the highway, albeit there’s still much to do, and we really liked the fact that there is such a nice big pull-over area where one can take a break and watch the seals cavorting on and around the rocks. We also took the time to stop at The Store at Kekerengu, a very nice venue with its ocean views and access to the beach. The food is pretty good as well.

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