Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds area is very hilly and cell phone coverage is minimal to non existant. Hence no postings on our blog lately. We are currently in the Brown River Freedom Parking Area at the corner of State Highway 6 and the road to French Pass, and I have 5 bars on my phone, so lets catch up. I have 3 posts to write.

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Picton, from the Queen Charlotte Drive.

We left our home sit in Blenheim on the 19th of August, stayed the night at Rita Tuckerman’s CAP and the next day set off for a  trip up the Sounds. Into Picton and up the Queen Charlotte Drive to Linkwater and out the Kenepuru Road towards Portage and Titirangi Bay.

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The road is very windy from Picton so it was slow going as we made our way round the many twists and turns and there is a lot of logging being carried out at the moment so I was pleased we never met any logging trucks. There are two DOC camps just before you arrive at Portage, one on each side of the road. One on the shores of Kenepuru Sound and one up the hill into the bush. We checked out the water side one first. Looked pretty good and then the bush one. Just little spaces for small campers etc. The track up was narrow and windy with the bush right up to the track. At the top it ended abruptly in a small camping position with no where to turn round with a caravan. Couldn’t even disconnect the van, turn it manually and get the car pass to reconnect. Blast! Had to reverse back down the track with the rear of the caravan out of sight in the mirrors and Judy giving me instructions as I went. We parked down by the shore and I had a long white tea to recover.

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Parked up at the DOC site Portage. A lovely spot, Sheltered and with a view over the Kenepuru Sound.

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Plenty of these curious, nosey, and noisey wekas around.

Leaving the caravan behind we had a quick explore of Portage the next day and set out to Titirangi Bay at the end of the road. A very long 40 kms over the windy, narrow road. Very spectacular as you get near the end and the vista opens up to the Bay far below and the distant outer Islands. Well worth the drive down. The farmer here has opened one of his paddocks to NZMCA members for a small charge. (CAP) A beautiful beach and while we were there a camper van arrived for a stay. Getting our caravan there would have been quite possible but not easy.

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Looking down into Titirangi Bay from the road above. Have to drive down there. Glad the caravan was not connected.

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Judy on the Titirangi Beach. What a magnificent spot. Well worth the trek out.

Back to Portage and the next day to the DOC site at Aussie Bay just out of Picton along the Queen Charlotte Drive. On the way back in from Portage there is a sign pointing down to the beach and a coffee. However at the bottom there was very little room to turn around again. I backed down the entrance to the life giving coffee shop. A good coffee was had and a chat with one off the local bach owners. At Aussie Bay later at about 9 pm there was a furious knocking on our van door and there stood a DOC man  to  collect our $16.00 for the nights stay. I had totally forgotten to poke it into the collection box. Last time I forget that. We have found the Doc sites and most of the freedom sites to be well maintained and clean.

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At the coffee lounge contemplating how I was going to negotiate the sharp corner at the end of the drive. In the end it was quite easy.

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A wild passionfruit. Beautiful but  a pest to our bush. Another bad pest is Old Man Beard that is growing rampart and smothering native flora.

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