Finally a day to sleep a little later than usual! We had a bit of a drive ahead of us to get to the Marlborough region, basically on the other side of the island. And sleeping in worked to our advantage because our first stop was to Punakaiki National Park, home of the Pancake Rocks. After a twisty drive along the coast, we made it in time to see high tide of the Tasman Sea spray through the blow holes.
After a nice stroll through the park, it was back on the road. We wanted to pet a lamb so we got a couple carrots at the store and while on the back roads stopped on the side of the road. Our attempt was a total bust, the lambs are big scaredy cats and ran away every time we came near them.
Along our drive, we had lunch with a rooster at the site of the historic mining town, Lyell, along the Buller Gorge. And we drove up to the top of a small mountain to try and spot a kiwi while checking out Lake Rotpiti in Nelson Lakes National Park.
Finally, after driving across the South Island, we made it to the Marlborough region! Oh what a glorious sunny day to drink some wine!
By the time we made it to Marlborough we only had time to stop by 1 winery, but we picked a good one, the wine was delicious. All the people are so nice, the lady at the wine place gave us some fabulous recommendations and we dinner at Raupo Riverside Cafe. They have delicious food, especially their hot chocolate. Dave was annoyed they weren’t giving him any water though, said it was because he was wearing jeans, it was quite amusing!
There actually is quite a lot to do in this area, unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to do it all. We had wanted to hike some of the Queen Charlotte Track, but you have to take a water taxi out there and it would have taken all day, leaving no time for wine tasting. So instead we did a local hike with lots of lovely views of the Queen Charlotte Track in Picton.
After a nice hike, we grabbed some fish and chips and sat on the water to enjoy lunch. We were greeted by the cutest little black and white terrier dog, we named Henrietta. She would slowly make her way closer to us, as if we didn’t notice, to try and get some of our lunch.
After our lunch, we headed back to Blenheim to go wine tasting! There are a lot of good wineries also in a town called Renwick. It was a very windy day, so we didn’t rent bikes to go around to the wineries. We went to about 5 different “cellar doors” as they call them. It was very unlike Napa, not crowded at all, maybe it was the time of year, but it was a Friday afternoon. Everyone is so friendly and knowledgeable about wine.
Today was our Friday, but Thanksgiving in the US. So we did what any Americans would do to celebrate the holiday, ate pizza! Turkey does not exist in New Zealand, so pizza seemed like the next best option. We went to a place in downtown Blenheim, the pizza was ok, not as American as we would have wanted, but still fitting for the holiday.
Up next…Cruising the Sound, green-lipped mussels, and a boot!