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Picton to Blenheim, Kaikoura then to Hamner Springs


After a three hour ferry ride from Wellington, watching Rugby with local fans, we spent the night in Picton. The next day, we drove across the top of the South Island to Havelock taking in the overcast but pretty views of the strait between the North and South Islands.From Havelstock, we took the road south to sunny Blenheim, the heart of New Zealand’s Marlborough wine region. We drove down their “Golden Mile” with vineyards on either side. We lucked onto the Hans Herzog vineyard where the host could not have been more hospitable, or the wines more delicious. We stocked up on several to bring home.Delightful Samantha Young helped us sample their superb wines on behalf of the proprietors, Hans and Therese Herzog. Rand is still more partial to Moa beer,

Rand’s favorite – Moa Beer

but he did find their Montepulciano-grape Grappa delicious.

Before leaving the Blenheim region, we followed the sun northward up the coast. The “sealed” (paved) road turned into a dirt road that wound high up the coast and we came to a beautiful section of coast called Robinhood Bay.

our campervan parked in front of the lake


Heading south from Blenheim, we toured the wine region, then drove the rainy but stunning coastline to Kaikora. We decided not to stop there because of the heavy rain and continued on over a snowy pass to Hamner Springs to spend the night. The snow was coming down heavily as we headed up to higher elevation, blanketing the trees in white.
The geothermal playground in Hamner Springs, with its hot pools, sulphur pools and aqua-therapy hot pools, was another highlight of the day. The aqua-therapy pools especially, which had very strong jets that you could position on any part of your body you could move into position, did wonders for our sore muscles and aches and pains.

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