Scenic spot on your New Zealand road trip: pit stop at Kekerengu

View from the Store in Kekerengu, near Blenheim

View from the Store in Kekerengu, between Blenheim and Kaikoura, South Island, NZ.

When you cruise around on a road trip, sooner or later you’ll need some pit stops, so why not make it a scenic one? Admittedly, there is many a scenic stop on a New Zealand road trip. When we were driving south from Picton we stopped at the Store in the tiny settlement of Kekerengu on the South Island.

The Store in Kekerengu

I found this little spot a perfect place to take a break while cruising down the coastal highway SH1 from Blenheim to Christchurch. We had just hopped off the ferry in Picton and had enjoyed an incredible drive down the highway. The SH1 runs right beside the coast, so that most of the time, you get an amazing view of the waves rolling onto the beaches or crushing against rocks. There are plenty of spots that are great for surfing, so you’ll spot the odd surfer along the way as well.

There are of course plenty of opportunities to pull over and take in the scenery, but The Store in Kekerengu is special.

It is a proper scenic stop complete with restaurant and a gift shop. Plus, it’s got a beach you can drive down to.

Seagulls at the Store in Kekerengu on the South Island of New Zealand

Seagulls at the Store in Kekerengu

The cafe as such is an award-winning one; it was voted the best cafe in the Marlborough region. It’s great inside where a fireplace warms freezing travellers in the winter, and outside on the patio, where patrons enjoy the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. If the season and weather allows, go sit outside; it’s one of the most beautiful places to have a pitstop lunch!

Another great thing is there are tons of seagulls. The bad thing is there are tons of seagulls! It was quite fascinating watching those birds cruise around in the air. They are there for a reason though. As soon as patrons left their tables, they swooned down upon the leftovers and took what they could.

Still, with that view, I didn’t care about the seagulls much.

East coast of New Zealand's South Island, near Blenheim

East coast of New Zealand’s South Island

View of the South Island's east coast between Blenheim and Kaikoura

View of the South Island’s east coast in Kekrengu

Directions to the Store, Kekerengu

The Store is easy to find. Just 40 minutes south of Blenheim, it is exactly halfway between Blenheim and Kaikoura.


Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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  10 comments for “Scenic spot on your New Zealand road trip: pit stop at Kekerengu

  1. 15 August, 2012 at 15:01

    What a perfect little spot to stop and grab coffee! Love the seagull picture:-)

    • Christina
      19 August, 2012 at 13:09

      Thanks, Jess. It will forever be in my top 3 pit stops of all time 🙂

  2. 15 August, 2012 at 19:25

    I like this scenic pit stop of yours! Pit stops are necessary but much more enjoyable if they are as pretty as this one.

    • Christina
      19 August, 2012 at 13:10

      Absolutely – there was another one near the three glacial lakes on the South Island that I would say are the most scenic toilets in the country 🙂

  3. 16 August, 2012 at 02:34

    Sounds like a great road trip to me!

    • Christina
      19 August, 2012 at 13:11

      NZ road trips always rule !

  4. 19 August, 2012 at 10:44

    Oh, the view looks fantastic! The seagull you got a shot off seems to be building its modelling portfolio too…

    • Christina
      19 August, 2012 at 13:18

      Haha! They were really putting on a show, those seagulls. Maybe to get into the line-up for the Miss seagull New Zealand competitions in the capital, Wellington.

  5. 30 August, 2012 at 00:35

    I’m all for pit stops with a view! And if there’s a store like the one in Kekerengu, so much the better. Seagulls can be very cunning when it comes to grabbing food, can’t they? The NZ coast reminds me so much of places along the coast of California — beautiful!

  6. 17 September, 2012 at 06:44

    This sounds so nice, Christina! I loved every bit of New Zealand on my two trips there, north and south.

    All the best from Chile…

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