Coming close to the end of our round trip of New Zealand’s south island, the last part of our travel took place in the Marlborough Sounds, between the cities of Nelson and Picton. Another inspiring destination with picture-perfect views.
After having explored the Golden Bay and Cape Farewell (see previous location) we travelled towards the city of Picton where we planned to take the ferry over to Wellington, on the north island. This last part of our NZ travel was still as amazing as all the previous places we saw.
After a night stop in the city of Nelson (on the Golden Bay) we came to explore an area called “Marlborough Sounds”. These “Sounds” aren’t similar to those of the “Fjordland” (see the location about the Doubtful Sound) and offered a lot of surprises for our candid eyes.
We wanted to first see the place called “French Pass”, as the name attracted us and there’s a history involving a French navigator, captain Dumont d’Urville who almost sank his ship by trying to go through this pass (that’s why it’s called “French Pass”, with a kind of typically British ironic sense of humor), as it’s one of the most dangerous places to navigate in New Zealand.
The way to French Pass is long and at the beginning wasn’t so spectacular. We asked ourselves if it was worth it; insisted that it is, and after almost 40km of driving on a little track in the forest, the landscape suddenly changed completely! No more forest but wide open landscapes of mountains encountering the sea! At the end of the track is the little village of Anaru (or French Pass); a few miles away from the real pass. We had a nice walk to this famous place and understood why it was so dangerous: two opposite streams come together there, creating a lot of “maelströms” which are deep circular streams that whatever comes near it can only sink.
After this great place, we followed the road to Picton and had a nice stop in a little town and harbour called Havelock, which is known as the capital city of New Zealand’s giant greenlips mussels. We tried them out and true, it was really delicious. Throughout the road to Havelock, we stopped a lot of times to admire beautiful landscapes made of stunning little bays and huge mountains.
Finally, we reached our destination: Picton; this city has nothing special besides that fact that it is the departure and arrival place for the ferries between the south and north island, from Picton to Wellington. And that’s why we were here, to reach our last NZ destination: Wellington! But this is another story I’ll tell you in another location… :)
To be continued…