We departed the ferry in the town of Picton half-past midnight and therefore, opted for a free and very crowded carpark close to the ferry terminal. Upon waking, we drove north into the heart of the Marlborough Sounds. The emerald green waters of both the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Kenepuru Sound greeted us with every turn and unable to resist, we decided to stop and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of sunbathing and rock skipping on the sound shores. The next day we hiked a section of the popular, multi-day Queen Charlotte Track (QCT) to the Onahau Hilltop Lookout – a 360 degree view of beautifulness!
Our second day in the Marlborough Sounds brought cloudy skies and we decided our time would be better spent touring wine country near neighboring Blenheim (honestly, we probably would have decided the same even if it were sunny)! We spent the afternoon acquainting ourselves with a few wineries, and the better half of the following day riding bikes to every ‘open’ cellar door we could find – WOLO!
We went from winery to winery tasting the best NZ has to offer, particularly the Sauvignon Blancs and the Pinot Noirs, before purchasing a bottle (of Chardonnay, in fact), turning the bikes in, and safely parking the van for the night! For any wine lovers out there, these are our suggestions for cellar stops the next time you find yourself in Blenheim, NZ:
Lawson’s Dry Hills Winery
Seresin Estate (for the olive oil)
Nautilus Estate (really nice basil chocolate pairing with the wine)
Huia (our #1 and not just because we went here last 😉 )
Next stop: Sawcut Gorge
– Go. Change your state of mind.