Picton, the gem of the Marlborough Sounds
Sunday- Rarangi Beach
Monday-Blenheim Wineries and Gardens
Tuesday-Totaranui and Abel Tasman Nat’l Park
Wednesday-Birds of Abel Tasman
Thursday- Nelson, New Zealand
Friday- Picton and the Marlborough Sounds
Saturday-The Plants of New Zealand
Picton is where you land, if traveling by car or campervan from the North Island, which we did once in 1999 when the whole family gathered here. Inter-island ferries to and from Wellington arrive and cruise through all the beautiful peninsulas and islands of the Marlborough Sounds. A mail boat takes visitors on its route every day for a relaxing unhurried ride.
Picton hosts a marina, one of the largest in New Zealand that attracts sailors from all over the world, vacationers own holiday homes here and International cruise ships dock. There is one short stretch of funky shops with lodge room balconies overlooking the ‘downtown’ view.
My sister and I admired the landscaping near the marina, done with the native plants and grasses the Kiwis love. With truly awesome views, you can easily see why people want their vacation homes here and we looked up to see them set in the hills surrounding the marina.
At a small pub, we stopped to look at a map of the Marlborough Sounds, a group of long, jagged peninsulas and islands that are a sailboat owner’s paradise. There are restaurants, campgrounds and lodges only reached by boat on the shores of these waterways where you can eat or stay the night, while exploring.
There are children playing in their small sailboats, swooping and leaning in the wind. Bordered by forested hills rising almost vertically from the water’s edge, the Marlborough Sounds is a true scenic highlight and is easily sailed
On the way out of Picton, after a fine lunch, my brother in law stated that we’d be driving back the long twisty way, but we’d be seeing more horrible scenery as our reward. I must say at this point that if you aren’t accustomed to driving on the right hand side of the road, sitting in the passenger seat, as I was, was a little like ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”
The road rose way up over the ranges above Marlborough Sounds, then dived back down to reveal uncrowded (if you don’t count sheep) bays and beaches with calm waters.
To think of my sister and her husband, enjoying these beautiful bays and islands in the small sailboat they will soon have, made me extremely happy and I look forward to their adventures.
Tomorrow– Saturday – The Plants of New Zealand