After being introduced to the Maori, exploring Glow Worms, and visiting the home of The Hobbits, it was time to leave the North Island of New Zealand for the South Island. To get to the South Island, you take a ferry across the beautiful fjords of Cook Strait.
The ferry ride is about 3 hours and has been described as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. We can attest to that. You are rewarded with spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges, crystal clear waters, and secluded bays.
We spent our time gazing at the views, playing cards, and enjoying each other’s company.
Kathy and Joey found time to clown around with their sunglasses.
Our disembarkation was at Picton, New Zealand in the South Island.
Malborough Wine Country
We began our journey of the South Island in Malborough, New Zealand’s premier wine country. The Marlborough region is all about world-famous Sauvignon Blanc.
Malborough is responsible for producing 77% of all New Zealand wines. We were fortunate to stay in an incredible hotel called The Marlborough Vinters Hotel that’s flanked by fields of grape vines.
The rooms were spacious with a large living area, kitchen and a king size bed. Most importantly, you could walk or cycle to several wineries from the hotel.
We took this opportunity to cycle to several wineries in the morning and took a wine tour (by bus) in the afternoon. In hindsight, I would probably have just cycled the entire day to different wineries because it they had plenty of bike paths that made it easy to do.
During our stay in Marlborough, it was Lynn’s birthday so Kathy and the gang surprised Lynn with a wonderful dinner at a restaurant in the wine country. It was a small restaurant (with only a few tables), a roaring fire, great food and fantastic wine.
We capped off our time in Marlborough by visiting a boutique chocolate factory named Makana Confections – yummy chocolates!
Our next blog will take us on a whale watching excursion, a scenic train ride, and time at a glacier.
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I’ll leave you with a picture of one of the wineries (Hunters Wines) that we visited while in Marlborough.