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The Cart was built in Timaru to be used as a Pie Cart, and has a colourful history. It was moved to Cromwell during the construction of the Clyde Dam. On completion of the dam project the cart ended up in Cromwell, again used as a Pie Cart.

24 Years ago a local man purchased it and towed it all the way over the Haast Pass, behind a little tractor and set it up in its current location, overlooking the bay, opening as The Craypot.

The Craypot is an iconic, quirky caravan style cafe located on The Esplanade at Jackson Bay, on the bottom of the West Coast. The menu is predominantly seafood, and we pride ourselves in serving the best. Famous for our crayfish, we also offer fish & chips, Whitebait, seafood chowder and much more. We offer a variety of salads, our most popular being the Pumpkin & Halloumi salad, or the Calamari salad. We serve fantastic coffee which is roasted in Southland. All dishes are prepared fresh to order. We are licensed so you can enjoy a cold beer or wine with your meal.

Sisters Dayna & Nicole Buchanan come from a rural background, growing up on a deer farm we share a love for the outdoors, and a passion for food. When an opportunity to purchase the iconic cafe come up, we both jumped at it. We took over The Craypot in 2018 and have loved every minute.

Over the years The Craypot has featured on several documentaries such as New Zealand from above, The Coasters, Fish of the day, and we currently have one in production. The Craypot has also featured in a number of magazines as a must do experience.

Service times vary seasonally, we are open from September through until Easter, and close over the Winter months, opening only for school holidays. 

Since COVID 19 we are offering a lunch service only, from 11am to 3:30pm.

Jackson Bay is renowned for its beautiful scenery and Wildlife. the drive down has been mentioned as "Driving through Jurassic Park". It really is beautiful.

The rare Fiordland Crested Penguins visit us frequently, so do the Dolphins, often putting on a show right outside our window. You may also see the odd Deer wandering down the road. There are a couple of good bush walks close by, varying from an easy 30-40 minute return, to much longer advanced options. 

And thats the journey so far..


 We look forward to meeting you soon 

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