Havelock & Pelorus Sound


While eating our breakfast Monday morning  we were rocked by a gentle earthquake. Pictured above is Earthquake. Further evidence of his earthquake abilities was some wool left on the corner of our van.

Leaving our CAP in Koromiko just out of Picton on Monday we towed the caravan over to Havelock on Highway 6 and at the head of the Pelorus Sound. Havelock is reknown for Green Shelled Mussels. Also known as (AKA) Green Lipped Mussels. Apparantly no one wanted to eat the lipped ones, hence the name change. There are about 650 odd mussel farms spread throughout the Pelorus Sound. Time to consume a mussel pie. Can really recommend them.



We continued on towards Nelson for a few kms to Canvastown and to a camp way up the valley. Canvastown is of course another old gold town though there is only a pub, a shop and a couple of houses there now. The camp is on the stream bank where the gold was discovered all those years ago. Many years ago we visited this very camp when our children were young and did some gold panning. The water was very cold but we all found gold and I stayed there panning until the light faded. Unfortunately with the fading light I lost sight of my little container half full of gold and knocked it over losing everything. That was the end of my gold fever and it has not returned.

Tuesday we had an explore of the beaches and countryside round Havelock and booked a trip for Wednesday out onto the Sound on the mail boat. NZMCA members get a very good discount on the fare. The trip takes about 5 hours and is well worth the money. Without passengers the mail run would be uneconomic. Take your lunch. Tea and coffee are supplied on board.


The mail boat. A catamaran.

Wednesday morning we were back in Havelock for the mail run at 10 am. We were the first to climb up to the upper level to get a great view as we called into various jettys along the way dropping off mail and supplies. There is no roading to the houses out the Sound and the only access is by water or I suppose by helecopter. We were met at each stop by those living out there.


Judy having fun and taking in the scenery.


Whizzing up the Sound. Sounds are flooded river valleys. Where as Fjiords were formed by glaciers. I didn’t know that.


One of the regulars. Gets a delivery each week of supplies. He is single also and on the lookout for some lucky lady to share his abode. So if you’re interested ladies.


We stopped and went ashore at this farm for lunch. The same family has farmed this place since 1880. pictured is the sheep shearing shed. They have a couple of houses for people wishing to stay also. They are gradually moving to tourism.


First thing ashore is this fence covered in wild pig jawbones. Most with tusks.


No electricity supplied here so they have installed their own home built hydro system made from an old F & P Gentle Annie washing machine. The water presure was at just below 100 pounds per square inch. It ran full time.


Here is another F & P motor (now generator) and home built water wheel.


Here we are in a green shelled mussel farm. Ropes hang down from the buoys to near the sea bottom and the mussels have been seeded onto them. The mussels are first collected from the far north, seeded onto the ropes, and a further 2 seedings and sorting before being left for 18 months to grow to harvest stage. Most of the farming now has been automated.


Looking down on the buoys with the ropes descending into the depths. Normally about 15 metres.


Much of the Sounds were planted out in Radiata Pine and some of it has now been harvested leaving these horrible blights on the hill sides. The growing of pines has not been an economic windfall with the trees only making about $1.00 profit each. Fortunately there are plans ahead to fully restore the Sounds to their natural bush lined state. We stopped at the entrance into the Mahau Sound to listen to the bird sounds. For predator control DOC here have been experimenting with trip wires that trigger off sounds that rats, mice, possums etc don’t like with some success.


Listening to the birds.



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