Home > Uncategorized > Days 7 and 8: Blenheim and Finishing Up

Days 7 and 8: Blenheim and Finishing Up

We left Christchurch fairly early the next day. There was quite a bit of ground to cover, up to Kaikoura and then finally up to Blenheim.

Kaikoura is well known for its seafood. There are tons of boats that go out to sea from there for whale watching tours. We didn’t get time to do that, but did get to stop in for a bit of seafood BBQ on the coast. (Keep in mind that BBQ here just means cooked on a grill.) Lena and I split some fish, scallops, and seafood chowder, and it was mighty tasty. We wanted to get crayfish, which seemed to be all the rage in the area, but with meals starting at $50 (which was a kilo crayfish), that was a bit much to handle.We kept on driving, with the terrain getting less and less mountainous, and even desert-like at times. It was a harsh change from the mountains and vegetation of the west coast, a change I don’t think I really liked.

We made it to Blenheim and hit the wineries before we did anything else. We wanted to make sure to get there before they closed. Got to two that day. Don’t remember the name of the first, but Lena purchased their dessert wine. We also went to Villa Maria, which has won more awards than any of the other 50+ wineries in the area. It was pretty good, and I picked up a bottle of Riesling.

We went to our hostel and checked in. The woman running it seemed so confused as to why we would want to stay there. She seemed almost drunk or as if she had just woken up from some really deep sleep. Maybe both!

Either way, the hostel was much nicer than the one in Christchurch. It was a house, with a nice back porch, big rooms with only 4 beds a piece, a huge kitchen, etc. The people were friendly, and I even sat out on the porch at night and chatted with 2 German, 2 British, and an American about everything from politics to American television.

Next morning we got up, hit up one more winery on our way out (yes, we were at the winery at 10am) and made our way back to Picton. We paid a few dollars to move to an earlier ferry so we wouldn’t have to wait around for 3 hours, and made it home.

It was a fantastic trip, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. (I’m already trying to decide if I’ll be able to take Kat down when she comes, assuming the weather isn’t too bad that time of year.) The only thing that I would change if I could is the car we rented–book much further in advance (or do more shopping around) so we don’t get screwed on last minute booking prices.

Total Travel (according to Google maps): 1,964 km – about 1 day 7 hours

The backyard of our hostel in Blenheim. The kayaks were free to use, but I didn’t know the combination to unlock them and didn’t feel like asking. Just stuck to reading my book on the stream.
The last winery we went to, right before heading back. It was a lot smaller and more quaint than the other ones we went to. Free tastings and they gave you quite a bit too!
Lena going for a tasting.
Man-made beehives were everywhere in the country side. I’m not sure if there’s a problem with not having enough bees, but they seemed to be all over the place. This particular one is in a field of sunflowers at that last winery we went to (which, for the life of me, I can’t recall).

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Full Set: South Island

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  1. March 16, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Ah, New Zealand. Thanks to you, we started a "NZ Fund"! Keep the posts coming.

  2. Kat
    March 16, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Hey! Find out if it is possible, and I'll book the rental care like NOW so that we don't get screwed over. I may have to give you my mastercard info and you do the booking…NEVERTHELESS! So so SO excited to experience some of this with you! =)

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