Thursday, 24 May 2018

Queen Charlotte Drive to Portage

Queen Charlotte Drive runs between Havelock and Picton. This road has been described as being "like cruising the Marlborough Sounds without a boat". It's a scenic coastal drive that twists and turns uphill and down. There are numerous hairpin corners and it's narrow in places. But the views are worth it. Near the Havelock end is a turn off to go north out to Portage, so we decided to explore.
Note: we had unhitched the rig and left it at Picton when we went on this day trip.

There are numerous bays all along the way, and yachts and boats moored in most of them.

Sometimes, all you can see is glimpses through the trees and bush.

At other times you can get right down to the water.

A lot of people live around these sounds.

Forestry is one of the industries in this area.

A road we could not go down, with a gate across the road, attached to a tree trunk.

Eventually (this is on the Portage road), we arrived at Te Mahia, where we allowed ourselves to be tempted off the road with promises of caffiene! There was a lovely deck down by the water near the Te Mahia Resort where we sat and enjoyed our coffee.

We were not allowed in the actual resort, but it looked rather interesting.

Further along the road was a wharf . . .

. . . and from it you could see the front of the resort as well as other homes in the area.

Just a couple of the pleasure craft moored in the bay.

On this point at Te Mahia, the sea seems to be reclaiming the land. Some of the cliff is crumbling away, and trees near the edge are threatened.

I would say this young pine's days are numbered. It's surprising it manages to continue to cling to the edge with so much of its root system exposed.

 Back on the road again, continuing towards Portage.

Fifteen minutes further on from Te Mahia we arrived at Portage.  
Not the end of the road, but as far as we intended to go.

The wharf has a marina at the end that is closed for renovations.

There's hotel accommodation available here and homes nestled in against the hills.

Leaving Portage and heading back to Picton, these next photos are all taken from various spots along Queen Charlotte Drive.

This looks like a private beach that cannot be seen until you get out of the car and walk to the edge of the bank. I'm not sure how to get down to here, but there must be a road somewhere.

 There are a lot of beehives around this area. There's a lot of manuka too, which explains the hives. At one place we stopped, I noticed these hives just through the trees.

Approaching Picton, here we're overlooking Shakespeare Bay, with Picton Harbour in the distance past the logs. The next photo gives a closer view.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018


Before leaving Nelson, we had a lovely time (and brunch) with Dave's niece and her family, then left The Honest Lawyer to travel to Picton. And here's where we spent our last couple of nights in the South Island. Picton's a pretty little townthe gateway to the South Island for those who travel across by ferry from the North Island.

It was a stunning day when we arrived and walked down to the beach to take a look around.

I gave Lucy's eyebrows a bit of a trim later this dayit seemed as though she could barely see me.

There were the ever present ducks and seagulls, but the sun shining on the beautiful colours of this particular pair of Paradise ducks caught my eye.

Walking back to the rig, we took a detour through a dog park so that Lucy could have a bit of a run off lead. Then walking down the street, came across this beauty parked in someone's front section.

The next day, we went for a drive out around the Queen Charlotte Drive. We'd been warned not to bring the rig over that road (which looked like a short cut from Nelson) as it was quite narrow in places with sharp corners. However, it was worth a road trip. As we started out, we pulled into a lookout that overlooked the Picton Harbour.

Here's where the ferries come inboth the Bluebridge and the Interislander.

We were fortunate enough to be there at the right time to see the Interislander as it was leaving port. There are three Interislander ferries. This is the Aratere. We're sailing across on the Kaitaki tomorrow.

Check out the next blog post for photos of our trip along Queen Charlotte Drive and out to Portage. I read somewhere a description of this road: "like cruising the Marlborough Sounds without a boat."

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