This province is the northern
part of the south island. It has probably the best climate of the whole
of New Zealand. Famous for its wine growing qualities and beautiful waterways
(Marlborough Sounds) and for me a place of surprises.
As we arrived in Blenheim and made enquiries at the information office
about a wine tour, I found myself suddenly face to face with my aunt and
uncle. I don't know what the chances are of meeting a relative on the
other side of the globe not knowing that they are there, but I reckon
that those chances are slim. For us this encounter opened up a new opportunity
which was to visit my cousin and her family living in a beautiful and
remote part of the Marlborough Sounds.
But first we had to start our
high priority wine tour.
We hired a couple of bikes and went wine hunting. Pay special attention
to our bike-backs: specially designed for carrying wine. So with a list
of winery addresses in our hands we cycled around and did some tasting.
Top of the 'must do' list was the tasting of the Saivignon Blanc from
"Cloudy bay". The visit of that winery made cycling afterwards
Just like in the Milford Sound, kayaking is the way to go if you want
to explore the Marlborough sounds. Lovely bays and beaches to admire and
to climb on for a break.
Ellen (my cousin) and Brian live with their children on one of the peninsulas
that stretch from the main land into the sea. A remote place only accessible
with a boat. All standard facilities like electricity, water, sewage and
garbage are not available and Ellen and Brian had to come up with their
We drove all the way up to Elaine Bay (see picture Elaine Bay early morning-
view from our tent) where Brian picked us up for the last bit by boat.
Their house is on top of a hill with a breathtaking view over the sounds.
As they are trying to turn their land back to its original wild state,
they need to get rid of the 'foreign' animals and trees. Brian's job is
to place traps and catch the possums, pigs, wild cats, deer, etc. The
plan is to build a fence, so they can close off their property from the
main land. If they are successful in doing all this, they will reintroduce
the kiwi in their reserve.
If you come over to New Zealand
you must visit them and enjoy their peaceful place. They have comfortable
accommodation and where on earth will you have your own forest at your
Visit their web site for more info: www.ontopofthesounds.co.nz
See below the view we had from our bed.