latest Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions & Events in Wellington
and Accommodation in Wellington
YOU are in Martinborough and find yourself a little bored with nice
wines and good eateries, then why not treat yourself to a road trip
that will not only have you smiling, but will get your heart racing.
All you need to do is pack a little picnic, some drinks – non-alcoholic
preferably – and then set your car in a south-easterly direction
through some really pretty landscapes of farms and hills.
destination is only an hour away and is the lighthouse at Cape Palliser
that sits on a rock ledge towering over the sea and countryside
the journey is more than that stunning view, for along the way you
can stop at the unique crayfishing village of Ngawi – complete with
a tractor called Tinky Winky – and then find yourself up close and
personal with seals in a large colony just before the lighthouse.
winter weather the drive along the road between major hills and
cliffs is impressive; in summer it is breathtaking as brown rock
and grass meet blue sky over deep green and dark blue waters of
colours are rich and silently demand that the car be stopped and
the cameras brought out.
to spend a week here.
is a delight.
the hills side of the road are pretty houses while on the large
pebbled beach is the working area. Large and little fishing vessels
sit waiting on their trailers and small and sizeable tractors sit
ready to push them to or pull them from the water.
is an amazing array of equipment and, if you are fortunate, a boat
will arrive ready to be hauled on to its trailer and towed up the
my word it is well worth enjoying the spectacle and the ease with
which such big bits of machinery are brought safely up the pebbles
and put to bed.
five kilometres on from Ngawi, and not far from the now spectacular
red-and-white lighthouse, is the North Island’s largest NZ fur seal
While their odour is not the most pleasant these creatures are fantastic
to watch as they swim, gaze around or just loll about on their rocks.
You can get reasonably close for photos – telephoto lens close that
is - but never get between a seal and the ocean and be mindful not
to scare them.
the waves crashing on to the colony’s rocks are large you can watch
as seals duck under the swells, much as humans do in breakers at
you have the time I’d recommend sitting down on a rock overlooking
the beach and just observing these wonderful creatures as they go
are the most common seals in New Zealand waters with an estimated
population of 100,000.
fur seals are extremely good swimmers, they are not so hot on land
– for while they can move quickly, they can get disoriented and
can wander away from the water into people’s backyards and houses.
we could have sat all day with the seals our target was the Cape
Palliser lighthouse and so it was onwards and upwards.
the car below the lighthouse we watched as other visitors made their
way up the single flight of steps to the warning station that flashes
its brilliant message about every 20 seconds.
was a long way and can be daunting for some, but having trudged
my way up the 253 stairs before I knew what was in store – and the
rewards for doing so.
I’ll not lie, the leg burn started at about step 181 and the breath
ran out 19 steps later.
having cameras means you can cover stopping to catch a breath by
framing up a shot or two.
215, not far to go, steps 230 and 231 uh oh there goes the breath
again, powering home now I’ll wait until I get to the top before
what a sight awaits.
you are looking over a beautiful bay and landscape from a platform
where, on a clear day, you can see the South Island.
well worth the effort.
you have taken in as much beauty as you can manage its time to head
down to the car park and return to Martinborough where it’s probably
about time for a local vino and a much-anticipated meal.