Activities & Attractions

Whatamonga Homestay is perfectly located for a wide range of activities and attractions:

 

Walking

There are a number of walks available from the home stay.

Queen Charlotte Track

Queen Charlotte TrackAccess to the Queen Charlotte Track ( 87 kilometers in length ) is available by arrangement which is across the sound, with drop off at Anakiwa and pick up at Ships Cove or the reverse.

See web site for complete details on the walk which is fast becoming known as one of the great walks of New Zealand.

 

Short Walks

From the home stay there are a number of walks available directly. The two most popular are;

  • Karaka Point about 500 meters away - a twenty minute walk each way from the homestay. Karaka Point was the site of the last fortified Maori Pa in the Marlborouh Sounds. It is a grassed lookout over the whole middle Queen Charlotte Sound area. Two tracks lead down to the beach and the point can be walked around at low tide.
    About half way along the track the ramparts and pits of an early Maori pa ( village) can be seenThe local chief was Te Karaka. Eventually it was overrun by North Island Maori who had firearms sometime in the 1800s. Some evidence still remains;
  • Whatamonga Bay beach is about a 2 kilometer round trip, either down the road and back along the shoreline to the home stay wharf at low tide, or vice versa.
    The Department of Conservation maintains a large flat grassed area at the beach which has a very good swimming sandy beach, with a very gradual decline to deeper water. Popular packed lunch picnic spot.

 

Others that your hosts can detail and provide directions for you are;

  • Essson's Valley Reservoir, Picton - Located in the southern end of Picton township near Alexander's Motor Camp this is a 45 minute rambling bush walk of easy gradient.
  • Shelly Beach to Bob's Bay, Picton - This commences over the coathanger bridge from the historic scow, the Echo. It is an easy shoreline walk with some areas of bush. There are opportunities for swimming and picnicking on the grassed area.
  • Victoria Domain Walk or drive, Picton - Walking access is over the coathanger bridge, behind the Echo, and takes 15 minutes to reach the lookout by an easy uphill track. Several mountain bike tracks can be found in this area. This excellent harbour lookout is accessible by road from Sussex Street, off Waikawa Road.

Kayaks

kayakingThe home stay has available two individual single person sea kayaks with paddles and life jackets for guest use. The kayaks are stored in the home stay boat shed and accessed by arrangement with your host.

Your host can provide tuition to get you started for those new to the experience. House rules are that the kayaks are not to leave Whatamonga Bay but there is a very sheltered water only access sandy beach directly across from the home stay which offers a perfect spot for lunch, afternoon or morning tea. Kayaking in pairs is encouraged to allow support as it is not always possible to be seen everywhere in the Bay in case of becoming up turned.

For those serious about sea kayaking guided tours from the outer to inner sounds are available by arrangement through your host.

Dinghy

The home stay has its own dingy available for guest use to explore the Bay, to just go for a row, or to venture across the Bay to enjoy a secluded beach all to yourself.

Fishing

The home stay has a number of fishing rods ( at last count at least 4 or 5 ) available to guests to allow you to try your luck from the beach, including securing your own mussels off the rocks for bait if you wish, or use of the dingy from the home stay boat shed with oars, life jackets, etc, to venture further out in the bay for deeper water .

For the keen fisherman dedicated fishing trips can be arranged through your hosts with local charters to the outer sounds and Cook Strait areas.

The home stay has copies of the local fishing regulations which sets the size and catch limitations to ensure the resource can be used by all. Guidance is available from Colette and the house rules are the small ones go back for another day and Colette will cook regulation size fish if you fillet it yourself.

Swimming

jetty jumpAvailable at any time from the jetty, although jumping is not encouraged due to variable water depth and the rock bottom, or off the beach by the jetty at other than high tide. The home stay boat shed has its own secluded beach for all tides.

Golf

Golf trips to the local 9 link course ( 20 minutes away) or a number of other more extensive golf courses are available. 

Day Trips

There are a number of day trips available for people with their own transport;

  • a drive through to Port Underwood, and Rarangi on one of Marlboroughs Treasury pathways;
  • a drive through the Grove Arm to view the bottom section of the Queen Charlotte Sound with a visit to the Cobham Outward Bound School and Havelock for some world class green mussels;
  • visits to other water only access resorts in the Marlborough Sounds by prior arrangement;
  • eco tours with dolphins, sea birds and seals, depending on the season in the sounds, with a visit to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary to view conservation programs for the rare Maud Island frog, saddleback and Okarito Brown kiwi. See bush robins, bell birds, pigeons and penguins.


By prior arrangement;

  • guided tours of the sea cage salmon farming operation and mussel farming by boat in the bays across from Whatamonga by prior arrangement;

Wine Trails

The home stays location in Marlborough offers access to some world class wines including chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir, pinot gris, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and is becoming recognised as a region producing some of the best sauvignon blanc wines anywhere.

There is an extensive wine trail with 20 plus winery's readily accessible from wine trail maps available from your hosts, or if you would prefer, from a guided tour avoiding the need to drive. A number of winery's offer a wide variety of dinning experiences to compliment their wines. Visits to olive groves are also available..

Feel free to discuss with your host your preferences to allow some recommendations. The home stay supports local business and has a preference to only serve Marlborough wines for hosted dinning experiences.

Shopping

Picton some 15 minutes drive form the home stay offers the most immediate shopping. You host will be able to assist with some items, or trips in to Picton, or potentially Blenheim which offers more variety. 

Picton has a number of souvenir and local product shops which offer distinctly local product such as local wood items, paua shell and or greenstone (dark green jade) jewelry.

Time out to Relax

If seclusion, time out or relaxation is your desired objective then please just let your host know as additional outside chairs and tables can be made available to facilitate just relaxing and enjoying the magnificent views, including the native birds and sea life in the bay and main sound below.

Native Birds

Your local host maintains a couple of bird feeding locations which attract a number of  local native birds to the home stay. Just ask for the locations.

 

Attractions - Tours and Cruises

  • Dolphin Water Eco Tours -  Join highly qualified marine biologists in search of Dusky Dolphins, Bottlenose, Common Dolphins and rare Hector's Dolphins that frequent the majestic Marlborough Sounds.  www.dolphinswimming.co.nz 
  • The Sounds Connection - Based in Marlborough we are positioned as the leading providers of quality tours of the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  Tours include visits to local wineries, arts and crafts, transport requirements and at sea, fishing trips on the famous "Sea Bud" "Lavoch". Private charters on both the sea and land are popular options.    www.soundsconnection.co.nz
  • Marlborough Sounds Adventure co.  Specialises in guided, independent sea kayaking, walking, hiking and mountain biking tours.    www.marlboroughsounds.co.nz
  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre    www.omaka.org.nz