Kenepuru Sound to Picton Road Trip

Queen Charlotte Sound

In the morning, there’s no sign of Bob in the cottage but when I look out over the bay, I see him on the rocks, fishing line in hand. I make bacon and egg sandwiches and a thermos of tea and wander over with this picnic breakfast.

“You know,” he says, after we’ve sat together quietly for a while admiring the scenery, “it’s so peaceful here I could stay forever.” He yanks the line and continues. “Whenever I’m stressed out and want the world to stop, I’m going to think of this moment, sitting here with a rod, and all the clean, green and fresh sights, sounds and smells of New Zealand,” he says, suddenly laughing at himself and tossing me his camera. “Quick take a photo and bottle the moment, I’ll use it as a screensaver!”

We enjoy our breakfast quietly on the rocks then, as the fish aren’t biting, pack our gear and reluctantly catch our water taxi ride back to Te Mahia. When we get to the other side Bob consults his watch “I guess it’s time to drive to Picton,” he says sadly.

“I guess so,” I reply, also feeling glum.

We drive back to Linkwater and reconnect with Queen Charlotte Drive, winding through several gorgeous bays and headlands offering fantastic views of the Queen Charlotte Sound. At the Picton lookout, we stop to watch the Interislander Ferry pull into the terminal at the western end of Picton’s palm-lined foreshore.

We find a quiet place to park and then Bob begins the enormous task of sorting out his collection of souvenirs. I give him a hand. Out comes the box of macadamia butter toffee crunch from Kerikeri, pumice from Lake Taupo, hand knitted jumpers from Geraldine, soaps from Thames, paua shells from the Catlins and so it goes on...

“Ugh!” I say, pulling out a crab’s claw from Waipu that mysteriously made its way into the boot, “Do you really want to keep this?”

“Oh yes,” says Bob vehemently, taking it and packing it away carefully.

“You’re going to weigh a ton when you fly home,” I warn, eyeing the enormous pile of bottles, bags and other paraphernalia stacked beside the car.

“Oh yes,” says Bob, rubbing his belly like a satisfied Buddha with a cheeky grin and a glint to his eye, “especially after helping you to eat your way around New Zealand!”