Our ferry got cancelled, so we ended up with a couple of nights in Blenheim. Although the town itself is nothing special, the surrounding area is FULL of vineyards. If you are into wine, I expect you could spend a lot of time wine tasting around this region.
We chose to go to the Yealands Estate vineyard, apparently the most coastal of vineyards and the first to try growing grapes on sloping ground around here. You can do a self drive tour around and meet the over friendly chickens and ducks as well as listen to the classical music played to the vines (they believe it helps them grow better!).
Of course tasting the wine….. and buying some to enjoy later!
Rarangi – Whites Bay and Monkey Bay
Turn off between Blenheim and Picton and you pass through Rarangi. Apart from a cherry orchard shop, there is no other shops or cafes so take a picnic with you.
You can drive to Whites Bay, or you can walk a one hour path from Rarangi over the top. Whites Bay is one of those beaches with such beautiful water, that you just want to run straight into the sea. Which we pretty much did. It also has a fab rock hole at the far end of the beach, a great addition to the beauty of the place.
Evie had her deepest paddle yet. She is not sure about waves but loved ‘walking ‘ around in the shallows, whilst we took it in turns for a swim. Another definite plus here wash a beach shower to have a rinse off once done with the sea.
The next day we returned to go to Monkey Bay. A much smaller beach and you have to walk up and down some steps to get to it (less than 10 mins).
Fun for the big kids, to the left of the beach you can walk up along the rocks and then jump in. This little beach had some good shade, if you do want time out of the sun.
Another joy of the two beaches above is we didn’t see or experience any sandflies….. a bonus in NZ!