Kaikoura Thu 15th Nov. 14-22°C, Clear, hazy around the coast.
Left Picton at 8:30am for a steady 2h30m drive to Kaikoura. Passing through Blenheim there are vineyards for kilometres, then the road twists through grassy hills and ravines until passing Lake Elterwater on the left. About 20km from here, you come around the bend to a very scenic stretch of road that hugs the coastline.
Stopped for breakfast at 'The Store' Kekerengu, very pleasant large cafe with views of the beach. Good cabinet selection and reasonable prices for breakfast menu, ok coffee. Nice outdoor area as well with easy access to the stony beach, covered with driftwood. Well worth a stop, could easily linger here for a while.
Another 20km on at Clarence there is a lovely mountain view, some still snowcapped. There is evidence of landslips caused by the 2016 earthquake, for a few km the damage is starkly evident as you pass through major roadworks for several km along the coast. Huge landslides completely swept away SH1 and the main rail line along here.
Seals and Shags of the colony at Ohau are fairly unperturbed, however.
Reaching Kaikoura, drove along the Peninsula Esplanade to the end. Magnificent views of waveworn headland and a curve of beach beneath a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Very hazy atmosphere today but still quite stunning.