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Hot tips on places to stop between Christchurch and Kaikoura

30 November 2017

We’re super excited about the upcoming reinstatement of the coastal link between Christchurch, Kaikoura and Picton and thought now might be a good time to share some of our hop tips on places to stop south of Kaikoura – from cosy cafés to winery restaurants and a craft beer brewery.

Get your coffee fix

Little Vintage Espresso is a quaint café on Markham Street in Amberley. It is a cosy hangout with a community feel. Rustic sweet slices are baked on site and the café offers gourmet all-day brekkies and freshly squeezed juices.

Pukeko Junction Café & Deli is found on the side of State Highway 1 in Leithfield and is worth slowing down for. It is a great spot for a hearty lunch or breakfast, with all of the café’s gourmet country-style food made in house. It is busy with locals and has a lot of outdoor seating for those sunny North Canterbury days.

The Brickmill Café is a rustic hangout in Waikuku, famous for its wholesome home-cooked fare. It operates from a historic building on State Highway 1, which had a long history as a rope and twine factory. The complex is now a hub for local artists, a pottery workshop, an antique shop and the café.

Explore the region's wineries

The geography, soils and climate of North Canterbury combine with the magic of winemakers to produce regional specialties – from rare truffles to spicy, rich Pinot Noir. Park up at a winery restaurant, meet producers at cellar door tastings or enjoy a local cheeseboard superbly matched with an award-winning drop.

Black Estate is a family-run vineyard, cellar door and restaurant in Waipara and well worth a visit. The restaurant was named New Zealand’s Winery Restaurant of the Year in the 2017 Cuisine Magazine's Good Food Awards.

The restaurant at Pegasus Bay Winery, which is also a good place to stop between Christchurch and Kaikoura, took out the same award for five consecutive years. Its menu is created around a wine list, with each dish being matched with a suggested wine.

Waipara Hills and Greystone Wines are also great options en route.

Further up the coast in Cheviot, Mt. Beautiful Two Rivers Café, Restaurant and Wine Tasting Room offers sophistication in a relaxed country setting. Try fresh, seasonal fare and enjoy award-wining wines showcasing the region. 

If beer is more your thing...

Check out the Brew Moon Brewing Company’s independent craft brewery and pizzeria in Amberley. Brew Moon offers flavoursome, natural beer made locally – mostly from Canterbury-grown malt, Nelson hops, water and yeast. Sometimes they break with tradition and use other fun and delicious ingredients like herbs, spices and fruit.

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