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Nelson Bays - Marlborough Trip,   March 2011.
(Click on any photo to see the slideshow)

7 March, Monday   Got up early to catch the 8.25 ferry.  Lovely smooth crossing.  In Picton drove out to Waikawa Bay and had seafood chowder at Echo Cafer & Bar for lunch.  Lovely sitting in the marina overlooking the water on a nice day.  Drove to Nelson with a stop at The Brick Oven Cafe at Rai Valley for a mussel Pie.  Passed through Nelson and spent an hour or so at Marua.  Bought some smoked fish from the Smokehouse to use for dinner one night.  Carried on to Motueka and on to the Chalets at Terraced Gardens.
8 March, Tuesday Stayed for 2 nights at the Chalets at Terraced Gardens 10 kms west of Motueka.  Lovely facilities. Caught the ferry from Kaiteriteri to Bark Bay and walked on the Able Tasman Walkway to Torrent Bay.  Lovely bush and scenery, good track with 3 good climbs on the way.  Good water supplies and "flush toilets" available on the track.  We were told it would take 2 1/2 hours but only took us 1 1/2 so were able to catch an earlier ferry back to Kaiteriteri.  nice day, sunny and warm but not hot.  Drove to Marahau for a look. Visited Colin & Christine in Motueka
9 March, Wednesday Drove over the Takaka hill, stopping at the Caves cafe for coffee and then at the Salmon farm near Takaka for lunch.  Wandered through the shops in Takaka and then checked in to a lovely chalet at Eatery on the Rock.  We ate at their restaurant that evening for G's birthday - great food and friendly staff
10 March, Thursday We drove to Collingwood and had a coffee at the cafe in the old Court House (good coffee and scones).  No Cape Farewell tours today as the tide is wrong so we then drove and finally walked to the Cape.  Drove west to the end of Wharariki Rd and then walked to Wharariki Beach (lots of arches, huge rocks, and caves).  Drove back and went to the end of the road at Farewell Spit (Puponga Bay).  Had a coffee and shared a seafood chowder. Walked eastwards out onto the spit for a couple of km, then crossed to the ocean side and walked back into a strong westerly wind and back across the spit to the carpark.  On the way back called in at Pupu Springs (G tripped on the track and ended up with a somewhat bloody right knee and left arm - saved his camera from damage though!).  We were going to cook our own dinner but decided at the last minute to eat at the restaurant.  Just a main each as the gurnard the previous night had been delicious.
11 March, Friday In the morning drove out to Pohara - nice beach settlement and small port.  Drove back to Motueka and called in briefly to Colin & Christine and then headed to Nelson with a detour via Kahurangi Vineyard (one of our favourites).  Checked in to Airport Greens Motel and caught up with emails etc.  Cooked our own dinner that night (with smoked salmon from The Smokehouse at Mapua).
12 March, Saturday Got up reasonably early and went to the Farmers' Market in the central Nelson carpark.

Went to Miyazu Japanese Restaurant (In the Rutherford Hotel) in the evening and sat at the Sushi Bar - really good sashimi and sushi.

13 March, Sunday Checked out of the motel, met Chris & Joan Farrow downtown and went to a cafe for a coffee.  Had a great chat for well over an hour - great to catch up again.  Then drove to Renwick (with a stop for a mussel pie at Rai Valley of course) to visit Annette's cousin Litty.  Spent an enjoyable hour or more chatting to her and talking about all the relatives Annette wasn't really sure about.  Then drove back to Havelock, right to Linkwater, and then left and out to Sherrington Grange Farmstay on Mahau Sound for 3 nights stay - a Xmas present form Simon & Jo including a cheese course. 
14 March, Monday The farmstay is run by Lisa and her mother Julie.  Dinners and breakfasts were great and the accommodation we had was very spacious.  Made cheddar and parmesan cheeses with Lisa who runs a small commercial cheese business on site.  These are aging downstairs as I type this some weeks later.  The sound in front of the house had oysters and mussels over many of the rocks so we spent an hour or so gathering oysters one day.  I probably ate a couple of dozen in the process and shucked the other 3 doz and we brought them home.  Went for a walk along the road down the Sound in the afternoon.
15 March, Tuesday Lisa and Julie had just purchased a cow and calf so Annette reverted to her teenage years and enjoyed feeding the calf and milking the cow.  That afternoon we walked along the road in the other direction and called in on Lisa's brother Rob who runs a beekeeping business and he showed us over his impressive honey factory.  We bought some of their honey on the way out the next day.  Also bought some cheese from Lisa before we left - actually I think she gave it to us.
16 March, Wednesday This morning said goodbye to Lisa and Julie and headed in to Havelock for lunch - another mussel pie -  and then went on to Renwick and out to Spy Valley Wines (another of our favourites).  Drove down to the Waihopai Satellite Receiving Station to view the replacement radome that has been erected over the attacked antenna.  Drove to Lawson Hills Winery and then to Picton where we stayed at the Harbour View Motels - Good locality with a good view over the harbour. 
17 March, Thursday Caught the 10.05 am sailing back to Wellington

The cheese