Travel Blogs from Pohara
From Punakaiki we had a long drive through mountains, by the sea, up the west coast, but a very long drive. We were told we would have to stop many times due to the fabulous lookouts, views, and anything interesting that might happen along the way. We arrived in a place called Motueka, right up on the north coast, close, we thought to our …
We visited Cape Farewell this morning - just a short walk over farmland to a cliff top lookout overlooking the sea pounding against the rocks far below. There were seals playing in the water. So now we have been from the northern to the southern tip of the South Island.
We also took a steep walk up to the Pillar Point lighthouse. Now we love ...
A quick stop back in Takaka to fill up the fridge and empty the loo, then on to Waikoropupu Springs (PuPu for short). Very much like Te Waihou in the Waikato. DOC has done a great job enhancing the surroundings of these underground springs with sturdy boardwalks and native plantings around the crystal-clear pools giving the place a real tropical feel. Along the coast a bit we were looking for somewhere to ...
We have really enjoyed Pohara today. Such a great position on Golden Bay with a wide sweeping beach, gravity-defying rockfaces (road goes through tunnels in the rocks) and this picture perfect wee harbour.
We got on our bikes and explored Ligar Bay and then found a cycle trail which took us along the waterfront, past lots of gorgeous baches (cribs!) and out to the golf course.
Pohara has a really great feel to it and seems to be a weekend getaway ...
Today was all about the walking. Woke to perfect conditions - slightly overcast but warm and dry. We set off at 9am - an unheard of early start for us - and walked to Anchorage Bay where there is a DOC hut and a magnificent beach. This took us 2 1/2 hours which was about an hour less than the DOC signs, so a pleasant surprise. We got into our togs thinking that we would be getting in for a swim, but by the time we had eaten ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsRatanui Lodge Pohara
Right from the very moment I read reviews on the usual travel sites I thought I had found a gem with Ratanui. When I finally e-mailed and booked with Steve, one of the owners, I had a reply back within minutes and that confirmed my thoughts. We were in touch via e-mail a few times during the ensuing months as I had enquiries that Steve always answered promptly. I was also told that due to the popularity of the restaurant, they would e-mail me the day prior to our arrival, with the menu and then if we could decide and book by midday if we wished to dine with them.
We had a reasonable journey to cover from our previous nights stay and arrived in Motueka, on the outskirts of the Abel Tasman National Park in good time to do the 30 - 40 miles to Pohara and Golden Bay. A journey of this length in England would be done easily, but having been touring South Island, New Zealand for 2 weeks we knew the differences.
The drive from Motueka to Pohara is stunning climbing higher and higher, with wonderful look-out places for us to park, click, walk, wander and click some more. By the time we had arrived at the Lodge it was much nearer 2 hours later and we were, by then, quite tired. We turned off the road into a parking area surrounded by a fabulous cottage garden, beyond which was the main building of Ratanui Logde flanked either side by rooms. The few, as yet unoccupied rooms, had their doors open displaying beautifully furnished spaces with antiques and lovely huge beds. On closer inspection after booking in with Marcus we found our room included a super large wet-room, with top class products for our use. Also a lovely hand written card from Steve and Peter wishing us a good stay
We had our own small bistro table and chairs just outside our room over looking the wide strip of cottage garden which seperates the walkway from the cars and within minutes our complimentary coffee and biscuits had arrived. What a wonderful thought after a long journey, also we were informed Cocktails and nibbles would be available on the terrace from 5pm until dinner is served at 7.30. So after a leisurely hour to prepare we joined some other visitors to try and work our way through the menu of concoctions Marcus is famous for making. Totally relaxed having enjoyed a couple of drinks in the lovely sunshine we then had to drag ourselves inside to the superb light and airy dining room.
We sat at our table for two amongst around 20 other guests, plenty of room for all without feeling too close, but friendly enough as some were chatting between tables. We ate heartily through-out. The homemade Roasted Aubergine and Tomato soup with freshly cooked sourdough bread, then the lavender rubbed pork and local vegetables followed by a superb Peach and Almond cake desert. This was all eaten with an accompanied wine from New Zealand, of course, suggested by the versatile Marcus who acts his part of Maitre D very well. Peter a fellow owner with Steve, is the Chef and their attention to detail show in every aspect of the meal.
After a well needed sleep and breakfast we headed out to explore the area, information on interesting places were described for us and marked on the local maps that are given to all visitors as they arrive. Our first breakfast was taken in the dining room but on our second morning we joined around a dozen fellow travellers in a lovely room with a huge dining table and very much like an intimate house party, we swopped stories, places of interest we had seen on our tours, whilst Steve continued filling the table with fresh fruit, juices, pots of coffee and pastries. It was fabulous and another reason we loved the place. Two days had passed all too quickly and it was time for us to head off on our travels once more.
Our only sadness is Ratanui Lodge is the other side of the world from us, or else we would be back tomorrow. A superbly managed establishment that makes travelling an absolute dream. Also, check it out, the prices are as reasonable as many lesser B&B's plus Ratanui have their own swimming pool.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.