Kaikoura Adventures Part Two

(You can see Part One here or right below this post. Click on individual photos to see them larger. Please respect our copyright by not printing, sharing or borrowing any of our photos without written permission. Thank you!)

After rescheduling our whale watching trip for the next morning for 7:15am, since we needed to get on the road once again right after the four hour outing, we set off in search of lunch. Once again, Angela came through for us. She pointed us to Nin’s Bin, a little crayfish spot just north of town. (NZ Crayfish are very similar to Lobster and are roughly the same in price.) Kaikoura actually means “Eat Crayfish” in the traditional Maori language. You can read more about Nin’s on this great Aussie food blog since Nin’s doesn’t have a website (and doesn’t really need one, apparently).

Talk about a table with a view!

This little guy liked it too, although he was definitely more interested in our crayfish.

And the requisite aftermath shot! YUM!

The coastal area right around Nin’s was ripe for photo takin’ so, of course, we obliged.

More Pied Shags!

After we tired of the wind and cold, we made our way to warmer climes at Kaikoura Winery. Located just South from Kaikoura proper, we were a little worried that a winery with such great views would only have that going for it, but our fears were assuaged and we enjoyed a wonderful tasting, especially of their white wines for which New Zealand is rightly renowned.

That night we decided to dine on our balcony overlooking the water and enjoyed some tasty take-away (Kiwis don’t call it take-out) pizza and calamari from The Black Rabbit. We found that most if not all the pizzas (and burgers for that matter) in NZ are loaded with interesting and sometimes intriguing toppings. (For example, their Gone Hunting is smoked venison, wild pork, chorizo, spiced plum sauce, and blue cheese sauce; while their Hen & Ham, which we were also considering, is roasted chicken, spinach, cream cheese, rosemary, cranberry sauce and bacon!) No basic pepperoni and cheese to be found here! We tried the Hen & Fig and found it absolutely delightful. Super thin crust and very tasty. The calamari was excellent, too, although the tiny portion size was seriously lacking. (We hadn’t touched it yet in the photo below – there was hardly any! What’s that quote – “They screw you at the drive thru!” Oh, well, our waistlines were probably happier. ;-D

We also used the opportunity to crack open one of our coveted bottles of ’09 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc that we picked up on our visit to Spy Valley Wines on our way to Kaikoura. Definitely one of our all-time SB faves for the price point. Highly Recommend!

The next day we arose at o’dark thirty, to pack and make our way over to Whale Watch Kaikoura with fingers crossed that our trip wouldn’t be canceled again due to unsafe seas. It wasn’t, although there was a high sea-sickness warning thanks to moderate to rough seas still. Anne gladly partook of the herbal anti-nausea pill they offered (for $4!) and they were soon on their way. Suffice it to say, it was a very bumpy ride and while neither of us lost our breakfast so to speak, it made for a pretty uncomfortable trip out to the prime viewing locations and back.

We got to “see” two Sperm Whales though, along with a couple of Wandering Albatross. See is in quotes, because, really all we saw was some spurting water from something that looked like it was very large, but couldn’t really be seen below the water (likely thanks in large part to the rough seas), and the huge tail fin as he went down on his dive back to the deep. Consensus: it was cool, but  it wasn’t fun and an adventure we wouldn’t repeat and probably not just because of the rough water. We would recommend spending the big bucks required on other, higher reward activities.

More from the gorgeous South Island to come soon!