After a slow morning in Christchurch including a stop at a lovely organic grocer to load up on provisions, we headed north to Kaikoura, a town which literally translates to Crayfish in Maori and is known for its astounding sealife. Unfortunately, it was dumping rain so we made a quick stop for a Cray and were back on the road.
We made it to Blenheim in the Marlborough region but it was too late for wine tasting which was a bummer because that’s pretty much the main draw for the area. The day was starting to feel like a bust. Trying to see the wine glass half full, we decided that though we couldn’t do proper wine tasting, it was still sunny and the liquor store was open so we bought a bottle of local Savignon Blanc and drove out into the vineyards to have a proper picnic with our fresh Crayfish. Though we knew that everything was closed, the plan was to find a winery with a picnic table so we could feast and create a genuine Marlborough wine region experience for ourselves. Well, somehow amidst the dozens of winery roads to choose from, we ended traversing down the long road of a Marlborough brewery instead, Moa.
Carlos saw a light on inside and knocked on the door. A buff Kiwi came out to greet him and gave us the ok to picnic out front. Brilliant. We set-up shop making a salad and some buttery pasta to go with the cray and a few minutes later, Jared the brewer shouted “It’s your lucky day,” as he carted out a box full of beer. He sat with us for a few minutes chatting about the industry and how a microbrewery found itself in the heart of New Zealand’s most sophisticated wine region before jumping back into his twenty four hour brewing shift. The beer was good– not great– but it was a gift and we drank it happily while dipping juicy lobster bits into butter.
After sharing some of the whisky we bought in Christchurch with Jared, we hopped back in the car and set off to look for a place to stay the night. At this point it was getting late, probably close to 9:30 and not the best time to be looking for a campsite or cheap motel and we had spent our luck for the day at Moa. The Holiday Park we landed in was less than charming and way over-budget. We agreed we needed to put our game faces on if we were going to travel like this for the next ten days.