Five days caravaning at Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Kaikoura Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
We had been planning our summer holiday for some time, carefully slotting it in between my taxi work and the work to come when our taxi driver friend will be in hospital, leaving his taxi in our care. A chance meeting and remark to our neighbours about our departure the following day led to our going on holiday together. Janice and Jimmy in their brand new luxurious big caravan and us in our much smaller and older model, we set off together for Goose Bay, Kaikoura.
The day we left was very warm, 33 degrees, travelling was fine, we could enjoy the cars air-conditioning, but when we arrived to set up camp the heat was stifling for a while, fortunately a cloud came over and we had a pleasant coolness.
We chose a great site right on the edge of the beach with a fabulous view of the ocean and the rocks; side-by-side we parked, leaving just enough room to put up an awning to shelter us all from the burning sun.
First thing we decided to do; after a relaxing cup of coffee enjoying the view, was to put up the brand new ‘outhouse’ tent that came with our caravan; we had neither solar powered shower set nor portable toilet with us, so it was just going to be for show but we really wanted to know how to put it up quickly and easily; an hour later when we had put the tent poles on the outside, then the inside, then we put it up inside out, finally after we had managed to lock Jimmy inside the tent, we remembered the old adage; ‘if all else fails, read the instructions’. The instructions proved to be written by a Chinese person with only a scanty knowledge of English so wasn’t a great deal of assistance.
Jimmy and I decided we should go find another similar tent within the camping ground.
After that adventure, we just had to relax with our first bottle of bubbly wine for the ladies and beer for the men.
Without any consultation Janice and I managed to take the exact same food for the barbecue, patties and sausages, we were able to leave the men to do the cooking while we got creative over the salads.
What a pleasant evening sitting under the stars drinking a good wine with sparklingly good conversation while watching the tide come in and go out again, til it was time for bed. A very good first night was ha, by us all.
Next morning we were not up early, all of us enjoyed a good lie-in before breakfasting together in the sunshine, then the men decided to go for a long walk to the shop a couple of miles away down the road, for a newspaper, a very bonding walk, we could see them talking most of the way! Apparently they talked more than looked where they were going, and very nearly walked onto a huge seal basking on the rocks in the sun! Janice and I washed dishes and lazed in the sun, talking too.
The camping ground was full to the brim with happy campers and boaties, who launched their boats to set nets for fish and crayfish pots out in the ocean in the hope of catching the allusive crayfish (lobster), there were not many around this year, but many fish were caught of all different types.
We had no boat so were only able to watch, while doing so we spotted many dolphins leaping in the bay and seals lazing in the waters, plus many sea birds.
Janice and Jimmy bravely went swimming in the open ocean, using boogie boards to ride the surf, while scaredy me just splashed around in the rock pools.
Erle and I went to a couple of craft shows and bought a few odds and ends and enjoyed some delicious homemade seafood chowder, at the Kaikoura Township.
All of us decided to go out for a very tasty Fish and Chip meal together, seeing we couldn’t catch any ourselves, I did throw a line out a few times till I had lost all the spare gear I had with me, all I managed to get was a couple of small nibbles.
Janice and Jimmy stayed for 3 nights then had to return home, they hadn’t been gone half an hour before we were missing them already, things were so quiet without them and we missed the shelter of the big caravan next to us, however, we decided to stay on for an extra night just by ourselves.
When we returned to the caravan one of the fishermen came over with 3 big Red Cod for us, apparently they caught plenty. Lucky us we were very appreciative! Though we gave one fish to another family who were not fishing, we ate a big fishmeal and brought some back home for the neighbours who were feeding our birds in the aviary and looking after our home while we were away.
The next day we had to pack up, pull down our useless outhouse and the awning from the caravan and pack it all away in the small amount of room for storage. Then we headed for home, feeling thoroughly refreshed from the relaxing enjoyable holiday; 4 nights and 5 days, the longest New Zealand holiday we have had. Just to finish it of nicely, we stopped in Kaikoura for a lovely lunch and went wine tasting at the Kaikoura Winery, I paid $4 for a complete tasting of all the varieties since I was not driving, and got rather tiddly while poor Erle had very little on account of the fact that he was driving. But I bought a bottle of Riesling so he could have a good try of the wine sometime later at home.
We decided it had been a darn good break.