If you have ever wondered what a sea kayaking trip would be like in the outer-Queen Charlotte Sound, then check out this blog post by one of our guides Christina Chowaniec. Enjoy!
Archive for the ‘Sea kayaking the Marlborough Sounds’ Category
Oh how we love this time of the year. After a busy summer, we now have time to catch our breath, sleep in a little longer each day and go home a little earlier! Just as the weather changes, so do our activities for the winter, as we focus on “winter versions” for sea kayaking, walking and biking Queen Charlotte Track.
You may well ask why would you want to come to the Sounds in the winter, but a typical winter day in the Sounds is not to be missed! Cool evenings, frosty mornings and calm, clear days are the typical weather in the Sounds for the next few months. Perfect for walking and biking on the Queen Charlotte Track – so we have dusted off our winter walk and bike packages again. The hotels are ready and waiting to greet you each day after your walk or bike ride with toasty hotel rooms and delicious simple dinners with a glass of wine each night.
The packages are excellent value for money and a perfect opportunity to escape for a few days from the winter hum drum.
Our Australian friends can enjoy an excellent deal, flying right into Marlborough but you need to be in quick as they are only avaialble for another week on http://www.airnewzealand.com.au/cheap-flights-new-zealand
For sea kayakers, winter can be a stunning time to be out paddling – the wildlife is prolific and you can have the whole place to yourself – a paddlers dream.
We look forward to seeing you here sometime soon and just remember “there is no such thing as bad weather, just a bad choice of clothing”!
It’s great to be back! After 3 years of guiding in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and the wilderness of Fiordland, completing a carpentry course at polytech in Christchurch and labouring on construction sites in London, I’ve now had 3 weeks to renew my friendship with the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.
It’s nearly 15 years since I arrived at the Portage Hotel in Kenepuru Sound looking for some work for a few months which ended up being two years. Then another six years as a guide for Sara and Dave at MSAC. Now I live in London but it is great to be back for a short visit. There’s a new office, a brilliant new bunch of staff, the buildings on the Picton foreshore are a couple of stories higher, the old-timers who I used to serve Marlborough Draft at the Portage are slowly drifting away, I’m wearing yet another MSAC uniform and the packed lunches are a bit posher, but some things haven’t changed. The seals still loiter with intent at the salmon farm, the school boat still takes the kids to school in Waitaria Bay, the lush Sounds bush still looks Jurassic compared to the stark, barren Scottish coast, the water is still a different shade of green every day, the fishing still “isn’t what it used to be” and Lulu the MSAC dog is still in charge of the office.
It’s hard to believe I was pouring concrete at the Olympic site only 3 weeks ago. And as I commute home this evening on the water taxi it’ll be even harder to believe I’ll be back sitting on the Tube in a couple of weeks. It’s made me realise what an utterly wonderful place this is. And I can thoroughly recommend to anyone gettimg stuck in the Sounds for a while!
Amatya is on a spontaneous trip to New Zealand after spending a few months working in Bangalore, India. Originally from Switzerland, the 24yr old made the most of the sunshine earlier this week & spent a half day kayaking with Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co. “Back to nature after a few crazy months in India!”
Equipped with an MSAC/Ozone Cuppucino, I headed off to Ngakuta Bay with my guide, Blair, & several other adventurers. After lowering the kayaks from the trailer onto the beach we received all the paddle, drybag and life-jacket instructions (‘In case of emergency you will find the next exit located to your left and right.’) We then headed off to sea! What if my kayak were to just throw me overboard at the next wave? I was quite releived to find these worries quite unnecessary. The kayaks were easy to manoeuver and, if paddling in sync with your partner, you simply cut through the waves.
We passed amazing scenery and spotted a variety of birds and elegantly moving stingrays. (A head-on encounter with the latter would not be so enjoyable of course). Blair provided us with an amazing amount of information on New Zealand’s history and forest conservation projects. I would have done much better in my history class if I were passing beautiful bays and getting sprayed with seawater by my partners paddle now and then! With strong strokes, we crossed the harbour and arrived mesmerized, feeling proud of our journey.
A few days later, I went with some of my NZ-based family on a Freedom Kayak Rental to further explore the Marlborough Sounds. We paddled 2 doubles & a single out to Kumatoto Bay where they we stopped for a rest-turned-lunch stop-turned-overnight camping spot. My eldest cousin Jacob, whipped up a gourmet (2minute) pasta concoction while his younger brother, Tarn, boiled up steaming cups of tea.
The following day, we enjoyed trailing sting rays along the coast & photographing a big seal lounging in the sunshine. Jake, an experienced kayaker, showed his sister, Indigo, how to ‘brace’ in a kayak. This resulted in, well, a few rolls and a lot of fun and laughter
A slow paddle on home to Picton made for more Ozone coffee & massive plates of scrambled eggs on toast. What an awesome mission!
Aah – autumn is here and winter on its way. Believe it or not, we love this time of the year. After the busy hot months, we relish the quieter, cool crisp mornings followed by stunning clear, calm days which are so typical for autumn and winter in the Marlborough Sounds. As locals, we all often comment that it is the best time of the year to be here and if only everyone else realised how stunning it is.
Well this year we decided to try and tell more people about walking and biking in the Marlborough Sounds during winter and entice you all with some great offers with our warmer winter deals . Getting out and getting warm is our message this winter – walking or biking is a great way to do it. Should the weather deteriorate (we don’t deny that we do get our share of rain and cold), then there is always a warm fire, hot shower and comfortable bed to welcome you at the end of the day. Furneaux Lodge, Punga Cove Resort and Portage Resort Hotel are fantastic spots to stay and during the winter are welcome respites from any bad weather.
Our relatively temperate climate means that the Queen Charlotte Track is one of the only tracks open during the winter, and with fewer numbers walking or biking the track during these months you are guaranteed peace and solitude along the way.
Autumn and winter are also ideal times to gather the family together for a bit of adventure. There are three school holidays during the warmer winter special deals period. We have designed some excellent value packages that are deliberately designed to cater to the varying levels of fitness and requirements of family groups. There are some minimum age recommendations on some trips, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to talk through the best options.
Sea Kayaking is also a great experience during the winter. The days may be shorter, but the wildlife is generally more plentiful and the conditions calmer for paddling. We offer a guided day trip during the winter months operating from 10.00am to 3.00pm for just $85 and of course kayak rental is always available.
This winter will also be interesting as we watch our new office building arise out of the dust. We are looking forward to moving into our smart new offices hopefully by Labour Weekend (24 October) this year, and the new waterfront precinct that is being developed by the Marlborough District Council.
In the meantime, Sara, Dave and the team encourage you to get out this winter and get warm. Make the most of these great winter deals – you will feel better for it!