Havelock: gateway to the Sounds

There are 2 Havelock’s in New Zealand. The one I visited recently is right at the top of the South Island. The other one is in Hawke’s Bay in the North Island and is called Havelock North to avoid confusion.

Havelock (south) is tucked between Picton and Nelson. Go there to cruise the Marlborough Sounds, see dolphins and catch a snapper for dinner or put on your tramping boots and  within 30 minutes you could be on Queen Charlotte’s  track (or the longer Nydia track). Need more relaxing activities? Try these.

1. Havelock is the self appointed green-lipped mussel capital …. of the world no less and you can try them for yourself at any of the restaurants in town.

2. Warm pain au chocolat from the Inlet Bakery and Cafe. This is a great spot to read the paper, check emails or just watch the stream of people who know where the best coffee and pastries and pies are.

3.  The Pelorus Sound Mail Run. Every Tuesday and Thursday and Fridays you can catch a ride in the mail boat as it delivers mail and supplies to isolated homes around the Sounds just as it’s been done for decades.  There’s a running commentary from the Skipper who knows these Sounds like the back of his hand. There are other cruises too: the green shell mussel cruise, and the Pelorus Sound history cruise. (www.havelockinfocentre.co.nz)

If you’re driving between Picton and Nelson, and if you’re not in a hurry, avoid SH6 and take the more beautiful (and more wiggly) Queen Charlotte drive. My rented RAV loved the drive but when the empty fuel light came on, I was worried. There’s nothing fun about running out of petrol on a quiet wiggly road with no stopping bays. I should have had more faith, the little trouper made it to Picton with mere millilitres to spare and we both went for a well deserved drink 🙂

Categories: New Zealand

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