Marlborough Province

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 much heavier.

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 own solutions.
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 doorstep.
Visit their web site for more info:
See below the view we had from our bed.