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.
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.
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.