Tag Archives: marlborough

From the Vineyards to the Mountains

The next morning we took one last look at our vineyard retreat in Renwick.

Morning at the Vineyard

Morning at the Vineyard

Morning at the Vineyard

We then drove up the Wairau Valley, over 90km – and incredibly, most of that way was past vineyards. No wonder the Marlborough region produces so much wine. At the end of the drive were the Nelson Lakes at the foot of the mountains.

Lake Rotoiti

We visited Lake Rotoiti, although there are two of them. These mountains form the start of the Southern Alps, which run 500km down the spine of the South Island.

Lake Rotoiti

Strange to see sea-birds here, but the lake is only 70km or so from the sea.

Lake Rotoiti

A Drive along Queen Charlotte Drive

The drive from Picton to Havelock via Queen Charlotte Drive isn’t for the faint hearted. It takes in a very narrow and twisty road (a Kiwi special, you might say) that passes by many a picturesque viewpoint and down into quiet little bays.

Around Havelock

Around Havelock

We also stopped to take a stroll in the Kiwi bush.

Around Havelock

Eventually, we emerged from the bush to face the next sizeable town in the region, Havelock.

Around Havelock

A stroll around Picton – Part 1

Next, we visited the town of Picton. It is located deep in the Marlborough Sounds and has a deep harbour.

Strolling around Picton

Because of its sheltered harbour and close proximity to the capital Wellington (just 65km to the north-east, across the Cook Strait), it is a busier town than most. It is the shipping, rail and road gateway to the South Island. In fact, here comes the Inter-Island ferry now.

Strolling around Picton

It fits cars as well as people, but just a warning that people with less than cast-iron stomachs should be wary about getting on-board. Like the Spirit of Tasmania ferry between Melbourne and Devonport, crossing the Cook Strait is a rough business. But luckily for those crossing from Wellington to Picton (or vice-versa) the rough bit is only 45 minutes long. That’s 45 minutes too long for me but others might think otherwise.

Marlborough Region – Part 2

Let’s take a walk through the vines.

Marlborough Winery stay

It’s only early summer so the grapes are just starting to fruit. They won’t be ready until Easter time.

Marlborough Winery stay

There aren’t many predators around so the rabbits still run free.

Marlborough Winery stay

And Mother Duck can still rear her ducklings.

Marlborough Winery stay

The hydrangeas are blooming nicely.

Marlborough Winery stay

There might be a storm overnight, but in New Zealand the weather doesn’t usually hang around too long.

Marlborough Winery stay

Time to head inside for the night.

Marlborough Region – Part 1

Being recreational wine enthusiasts, our next destination was the wine mecca of Marlborough, a region located at the north-east end of the South Island.

We stayed in a delightful holiday cottage called Andahlane Cottage.

Marlborough Winery stay

It’s set in the vineyards just out of the small town of Renwick.

Marlborough Winery stay

Marlborough is a bit like the Hunter Valley on steroids. The vineyards cover an area 5 times the size of the Hunter Valley, hence there are dozens of cellar doors to potentially visit. The wines can also be over-the-top (I think almost everyone has tasted a fruit-bowl-like Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc sometime in their life) but we were interested in tasting the wines of the smaller, artisanal producers.

But that’s for another day.

Marlborough Winery stay