Amazing someone complained that I didn't help anyone but just put websites on line. Now if I could do as good as most websites at describing their content I might but to have a direction to good information is paramount to understanding the place you are interested in......but anyhow since I have spent years on the road here begins some of the world I have enjoyed and will share with you...................
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So let's begin................
Mileage – 196034 this trip beginning and heading to Golden Bay first.....
Leaving Picton and motoring through the Marlborough wine country has never dulled my appreciation for the beauty even after many years. The vineyards disappearing into the distant foothills promote a magical effect upon me. Doesn’t hurt, I suppose, that I really appreciate the brilliant wines that are squeezed from the tons of grapes that suck up all those goodies from this particular climate and soil and are caressed into International Gold medal winners by knowledgeable vintners. Turning right just before Picton on Rapaura Road provides a short cut through the District and allows one to stop at a couple of the top spots such as Hunter’s Wines and the new Makana Chocolate Factory. (I dare you).
This trip we headed toward Golden Bay passing through Havelock where we stopped by the Slip Inn on the waterfront to enjoy lunch. It was a Sunday afternoon with a drizzle of a rain that sent enough people in from their outdoor day to fill the place. The area was more busy than usual as the local A&P Show was on this weekend as well as a motorcycle rally. So we had country people and bikers assembled as a group enjoying the atmosphere and the food and drink.
From Havelock we ventured on toward Nelson. If anyone wants to stop along this route 6 there are numerous spots and large picnic areas that have been developed for that purpose. No problems with overnight parking for self-contained vehicles I might add. This route is through a commercial forested area of the country and you can see the scars of the trade with barren hills seemingly screaming at you. It is also a very rigorous drive up, down and around the steep turns of the mountain range.
We didn’t stop in Nelson this time as we didn’t need anything but it is definitely a community where you can find what you may need and fun places to enjoy with great cafes and restaurants. We prefer the Morrison Street Café ourselves.
Leaving north toward Motueka where we planned to stop the night on the waterfront where the local council provides a place for $5 per night. Toilets and cold showers are also available. Good clean flat gravel place to park. Turn right as you enter Motueka at the sign for Port Motueka. (14kms)
On the road to Motueka from Nelson you will go through the suburb of Richmond turn right at the circle onto Route 60 and head through Appleby. Along this road a new bunch of vineyards begin showing up such as one of the best in New Zealand, Siefreids. If you have the time there are two great places to stop along this road. On the right is the Grape Escape Gallery filled with interesting items and the Hoglund Glass outlet some of the finest glass work n the world in my opinion.
You cross the Appleby River where on both sides of the river there is ample room to pull down to the river area and park your vehicle. Three more kilometres you pass through Ruby Bay where just north of town is a fantastic DoC Camp (McKee Memorial Park) stretched out along the bay.
Just be sure you don’t have a pet along. We got chewed out big time when the ranger spotted our cats. When we told him they never left the bus he next to called us liars and we told never to return. Shame because it is a very nice place but never mind, we know another just along the road another 5 kilometres with one friendly person running it. Take the turnoff marked for Kina Beach and enjoy yourself and have a good yarn with the caretaker. She is great.
The land in this area north is apple kingdom. You can always buy apples direct from the orchards along this road even out of season. Some how or other they taste better.
Just before arriving in Motueka you drive along the estuary. If the tide is low have a look for the rock art people have placed all along. Quite unique. You might even have a go yourself you feel up to it. Leave your mark in New Zealand at Motueka.
So it is a night freedom camping in Motueka………………tomorrow on to the Golden Bay area.