South of Kaikoura, it’s a two- to three-hour run down SH1 to Christchurch with relatively minor points of interest along the way. The road initially follows a 20km stretch of delightful rocky coastline then ducks inland through farming country for most of the rest of the way. Hikers should consider putting three days aside for the Kaikoura Coast Walk, while wine drinkers will want to stop at the hamlet of Waipara, 130km south of Kaikoura, where paddocks full of vines announce one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing viticultural regions. Thanks to its long warm days, combination of alluvial gravels and limestone clays, and protection from cooling sea winds, the area produces quality wines, particularly Pinot Noirs and Riesling. As a wine destination it is very much in its infancy: a dozen places offer tastings and several have restaurants, but there isn’t much else.
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