Day 13 - Marlborough
Have to say that it wasn't easy morning after last night drinking. Vintners Hotel is absolutely lovely and i would love to stay few more days here, however there was another exciting day ahead of us. So we packed all our stuff once again and Stephen from Marlborough Tour Company ,our driver for today and tomorrow, was already waiting at the hotel to drop us to Picton, picturesque seaside town on the north coast of south island known as the gateway for Marlborough Sounds. We had quick breakfast there and bought some water and food then boarded on small boat from Beachcomber Cruises company and went through Marlborough Sounds towards our first stop at the Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary
It’s taken an enormous amount of work over decades to return the bush and the birds to islands like Motuara, which was covered in lush forest when Captain James Cook used it to claim British sovereignty over the South Island in 1770. In the beginning of the 20th century, the island was used for farming, but in 1920 Motuara was declared a reserve. The bird sanctuary is now predator free, and you can spot birds like Tui, Bellbird, Cheeky robins and Fantails, as well as Yellow-Crowned parakeets and around 200 South Island saddleback. The most important species on the island - the nocturnal Okarito brown Kiwi - is hidden from sight to most. It was amazing experience to be on island alone only surrounded by birds.
Frome there we went to our next stop, Ship Cove, small bay just west of Motuara Island. The name Ship Cove was given by Captain James Cook on 15 January 1770 when his ship the Endeavour anchored there to replenish supplies of food, water and wood. Cook would return to the cove a further four times over the course of his first and second voyages to the Pacific. Our plan was to have a snack in little shed from supplies we bought in Picton, however I had to grab my camera and take some pictures first. As I was leaving the shed, flightless chicken size bird called Weka curiously popped up from the bush interested to see who are the intruders.
Knowing that we are alone on island I left all the camera bags and food in shed and walked just few meters to the beach. When I came back ten minutes later I've Immediately realised something is wrong here, most of the food were on the floor, packs half open and big bag of bread was missing. It took me only a few seconds who to figured out who to blame for the mess. I caught that little Weka bird steeling our shoes later on so if you spot them, be aware :)
When we had enough of beach we went to explore Ship Cove further and tried to find small waterfall, unfortunately we must missed the turn so we returned back to our boat. It was just in time to get to our last stop for today, Bay of Many Coves.
Set in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds, Bay of Many Coves Resort is a luxury five star resort hotel nestled amid a rolling landscape of native bush that kisses the shoreline of the beautiful bay below. Originally a family retreat from hectic city life, Robert and Colleen Gilkison eventually moved in permanently in the early 1960s. Capturing the truly special nature of the property, its new owner Errol Christian named it ‘The Gem’ and the opportunity to experience the very best of authentic New Zealand was born. The only way how to get to this pure paradise is by the boat or with helicopter. Our luxury one bedroom apartment was beautiful with warm wooden interior mirroring untouched native setting that sweeps down to the secluded bay. It wasn't really warm outside but we still couldn't resist to dip into the outdoor hot tub and enjoy the glass of bubbles.
Our dinner was booked in their fine dinning restaurant The Foredeck. Superb fine dining experience with awesome food and wine.