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Published on : Thursday, October 20, 2016
Sometimes what you see, is not what you get. And, that’s certainly the case in this rustic seaside campsite on New Zealand’s Kaikoura coast.Fresh sea air and the freshest New Zealand food served up on a dramatic stretch of the South Island’s Pacific coastline are the secret ingredients turning a no-frills Kiwi campsite into a gourmet destination with a wholesome food story.
Kaikoura Crayfish & Camp – an iconic roadside campsite ground – serves up delectable seafood, free-range farm fare, and down-to-earth hospitality, in the heart of a marine adventure playground.It’s easy to spot Kaikoura Crayfish & Camp.Just look out for the giant Crayfish served natural with lemon and garlic, salad, and a scallop and a venison pie, served with homegrown salad and edible nasturtium, calendula, and viola.
Kaikoura is named for these succulent crustaceans: kai is Maori for food and koura means crayfish. They are closely related to other species of lobster and crawfish.
The metal crayfish was actually made faraway, and miles from the sea, by a craftsman named Merlin. Somehow it ended up in Kaikoura where campground owners Belinda Girl and Maurice Flanagan found it and took it home. After a new paint job the crayfish looks resplendent in deep brownish-purple and yellow.
The camp is a magic spot for putting up a tent or indulging in some tasty kai. As well as permanent caravans, there are powered sites, tent sites, and a small cabin.A narrow strip of flat land, with the state highway and mainline railway snaking through it, separates the Pacific Ocean from the rugged hills and mountains. Originally the campground was a Maori pa, a fortified village, from where sentries scanned the horizon for marauding warriors, including early 19th century chieftain Te Rauparaha.
South Island tribe Ngai Tahu still owns the land. A spring in the campground provides a source of water for blessings, while another landmark feature is a splendid 160-year-old fig tree.Belinda and Maurice are salt-of-the-earth Kiwi hosts who love meeting people and sharing adventures.
Maurice is a former dairy farmer from South Auckland. Belinda, originally from Tauranga, grew up on remote A New Zealand fur seal clambers over a rock near Kaikoura.
Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf. They bred horses in Pukekohe, in rural Auckland, before moving to the South Island town of Murchison where they ran a school and tour bus company while Belinda also found time to make the “best middle bacon in New Zealand”.