Cray Crazy Kaikoura

by Anna

After a lovely two days in wine country we headed to the coast where the mountains meet the sea on the rocky peninsula of Kaikoura. Crayfish, which resemble small lobster, are a big deal in these parts (Kaikoura is a Maori name which literally translates to ‘meal of crayfish’) so crayfish and another regional specialty, greenlip mussels, were first on our agenda. After stopping to watch some playful seals, we pulled off the side of the beautiful coastal road heading into Kaikoura at Nin’s Bin for some fresh seafood. Johnny had read that Nin’s Bin was a must-stop, and we were not disappointed. The menu and set-up were simple: a bin of crayfish (caught that morning) marked with prices, a couple pans on a stove-top and fresh mussels. We picked out our crayfish, had it prepared with garlic butter, grabbed some mussels in white wine sauce with lemons and settled at a table by the sea. Topped off with some Sauvignon Blanc that we had brought from Marlborough, it couldn’t have been a more perfect lunch.

After our delicious pit-stop we made our way to our cottage in Kaikoura, where we transitioned from chickens and sheep at St. Leonards to a pasture of cows for neighbors. We checked out the small town and the beautiful vistas of mountains and coastline before settling in for dinner and a movie.

We awoke the next day to a torrential downpour…not the most ideal weather for our scenic walk along the peninsula that we had planned. We made the best of the weather with seafood chowder and local brew at the historic Pier Hotel followed by a viewing of National Treasure 2 (always a crowd-pleaser!) at our cottage. Nicholas Cage had just made his final one-liner when we noticed that the rain had started to clear. We grabbed our jackets and set out for the Peninsula Seal Colony and Walkway. This amazing walk took us along the tops of sheer cliffs, past pastures full of the happiest and healthiest looking cows we’d ever seen and down to the shoreline where seals lounged inches away on the rocks. The views along the peninsula were spectacular, and who couldn’t love being up close and personal with basking, barking seals?

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One Comment to “Cray Crazy Kaikoura”

  1. I was there 15 years ago, it still looks as beautiful as it was back in ’97!
    I’m sure you’re having a great time, guys!

    Cheers!
    stephan

    (one of the guys from the hotel in Istanbul)

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