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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