This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in June 1998
One Excited Tramper (Marlborough Sounds)
6-8 Feburary 1998
This was Rodney Pfeffer's first experience of leading an Overseas Mega-packed Excursion to the South Island, on a small packaged deal to the Marlborough Sounds. With everything packed and ready to go we arrived at the Railway Station and caught a bus to connect us with our Lynx sailing. At 8 o'clock 12 of us blasted off into a weekend of wine, relaxation and tramping.
On the way over, just to add to the drama of the day, there was a simulated rescue at sea using the WestpacTrust Helicopter. For the not so faint-hearted we were treated to a tour of the bridge showing us all the modern high tech equipment. Very impressive! Once off the Lynx we boarded our bus which was to take us on the wine tour. Our driver talked in a monotone voice. Maybe he has been doing this particular tour too long! We visited 3 wineries - Alan Scott's, Hunters, Montana and Prenzels Distillery. Not only did we all enjoy the wine tasting, but the group also bought 3 dozen bottles. Although overpriced, lunch at Hunters was a great experience, the atmosphere was terrific! The unexpected highlight of the bus tour was a comment made by the bus driver: "If you haven't enjoyed today it's your own fault, so tell all your friends in the North Island how much you enjoyed today so as to keep my bum on a seat and me in a job"
The 12 who witnessed this amazing statement felt this was very unprofessional as a final comment, but a good laugh!
We returned to Picton where we took a shuttle bus from Picton to Havelock via the Queen Charlotte Drive. Had the best fish and chips in Havelock before settling into the YHA for the night. To our surprise drama was still following us. We were all woken to the sound of shattering glass and shrieking metal. Two cars had collided. This was where Lord Rutherford lived, the father of the atom, not atom splitting, but car splitting. This sleepy hollow suddenly ablaze with lights. This was possibly the most exciting thing that had happened in Havelock for some time, Rodney and the TTC coming to town. But, will they ever ask us back again!
From Havelock we went by water taxi to Shag Point, taking about 15 minutes. Now for the real reason we are all here, the Tramp. The day was indescribably brilliant. The sun was hot and sea was like glass. We had lunch at top of the Saddle looking down on Nydia Bay. This day's endurance took 4.5 hours and was most enjoyable. Wasps decided some of us looked like a good meal too!
Arriving at Nydia Bay Lodge was exciting and a highlight for me. I was given the awesome task of turning on the diesel generator. The group shared the experience of the black smoke. The cabin style accommodation was set amongst a tranquil park-like forest setting close to the sea. The DoC lodge was probably one of the best lodges around with excellent kitchen, shower and toilet facilities. The lodge has the capacity to take 24 trampers, and I would be keen to lead a group to Nydia Bay again next year knowing we would be well catered for. It's a tramp that would appeal to a wide range of people as it is easy and laid back.
That night we had an array of puddings, salads and a barbecue. A fitting end to a wonderful day. Some decided to have a midnight swim in the bay while others were happily amused watching the swimmers and staying dry.
Everybody pulled together to make this another wonderful TTC tramping encounter. The biggest decisions and complaints on the trip were - do we go for a swim now or later, and that there wasn't enough time in the weekend. Answer-ask your bosses for more time off next time!
Day three: tramped from Nydia Bay to Tennyson Inlet (5 hours) where we were picked up by a launch around 2 o'clock For a 3.5 hour cruise back to Havelock via Pelorus Sound. The scenery on this particular part of the walk was breathtaking with black beech trees, pungas and a glorious bluey reflective sea colour. On board we were served apple cider, the fitting end to a perfect tramp.
From Havelock we shuttled back and had dinner at Picton before catching the 9.00pm Lynx back home on Sunday 8 February 1998.
- The party members were
- Helen Kemp, Peter Thompson, Jenny Gates, Vivienne Healey, Kate Williams, Adrienne Vermeulen, Donna Wilson, Duncan Heath, Harriett Byrne, Lindsay Buick, Colin Silva de Simas and Rodney Pfeffer (leader and scribe).