The Marlborough Sounds have been on my “to-do” list ever since we left New Zealand the last time. Everyone that asks about your travels, always asks whether you’d seen the Sounds and until now, I hadn’t.
So when an invite popped through our door last year, inviting us to a wedding in the Sounds, we really couldn’t resist making the trip around the world to come and celebrate with our friends in such a magical place.
From Wellington, we took the large passenger (and sheep) ferry over to Picton. The ferry connects the North Island to the South on a 4 hour crossing which really is a means from A to B than a glamorous boat. The first hour of your journey crosses the famous, and choppy, Cook Straight then in the horizon you spot them, the Sounds.
Due to a few delays, we arrived at the tip of the sounds at sunset. Everyone crowded onto the decks for the best photo opportunity yet.
And as darkness fell, we had no idea what the sounds would really look like till morning. After arriving in complete darkness at Picton, a small private boat whisked us off under the stars at Lochmara Bay, where the wedding party was in full swing for the “night before” celebrations. We went to bed early, eager to see what view would greet us in the morning.
As the sun came up over the mountains, I leaped out of bed, flung open the balcony doors and gasped in awe at the view. This was paradise.
Lochmara Lodge is only accessible via this small bay. There are no cars and no connection to civilisation. It was just us and nature.
After watching the sun rise in our pyjamas, we headed to the lodge for breakfast. Perfectly crispy bacon, two runny poached eggs and of course, a flat white coffee to set us off for our day of adventure and partying.
Before the first activities of the day I grabbed my book and sat on the jetty for a while, watching the hundreds of jelly fish beneath my feet and the occasional boat pass us by.
Back at the lodge, we met up with some friends and set off into the hills behind us.
As we climbed higher, at every break of the trees the views would be even more incredible.
The odd hammock on the track provided us with a much deserved breaking point.
Until finally we reached what we’d trekked up the mountain for…the Flying Fox!
Short but sweet, you soar through the trees like Tarzan, ending with a picture perfect view of the bay. After all that excitement, we headed back down to the beach and took the kayaks out for a spin. Scott and Richard got a little carried away and I was ropped into being the judge for their countless “boat races”.
Back on dry land, we had a small bite to eat and headed off to our rooms to put on our glad rags ready for the afternoon wedding!
Marlborough, I am so totally in love with you already.