There's a lot of variety across these six walks in Marlborough. For some you need serious grunt to get up a mountain and others you can skip along in jandals beside a river.
Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve offers numerous tracks, taking you through ancient forest and to the edge of the beautiful Pelorus River.
Many of the tracks are wide and gentle, built to a standard suitable for wheelchairs. Beyond these paths, and across the Rai swing bridge there are several other tracks.
Walk the beautiful loop track for views of Pelorus Sound and Havelock and the short lookout track for views of Mahua Sound.
Cullen Point Coastal Track Time: 1 hr loop
This beautiful loop track takes in the views of Pelorus Sound and the Havelock Township.
Cullen Point Lookout Track Time: 10 min return
This short walk leads to a lookout, giving views of Mahau Sound, as well as Kaituna and Pelorus estuaries.
The loop follow steep-sided gullies up on to the main ridge on the southern boundary of the Wither Hills Farm Park. From here there are great views to the northwest of the Richmond Ranges, Wairau Valley, the north and northwest over Blenheim and out to Cloudy Bay. The route heads down an open ridge from Mt Vernon with a continuous view of Blenheim, out over the Wairau Lagoons and on a clear day across to Wellington's south coast.
This short walk makes its way alongside Ohau Stream to a small picturesque waterfall.
During the winter months watch for seals in the stream that have travelled up from the ocean. There may be young, playful seal pups swimming in the waterfall pool.
The best place in the area to see seals is at the Ohau Point Seal Colony across the road from the track entrance.
Guidelines for viewing seals from the Seal Colony:
- Do not enter the seal colony by stepping onto the rocks from the carpark platform
- View seals only from the carpark platform
- Do not enter the water at the Ohau Stream
- Do not make loud noise at the Ohau stream, especially if you would like to see more seal pups. Seal pups will hide in the presence of loud noise, and especially in the presence of large groups of humans.
Summer-bare or plastered with winter’s snowy coat, Mount Fyffe and the Seaward Kaikoura Range dominate the Kaikoura skyline. These little-known mountains safeguard some unusual natural inhabitants, and provide recreation opportunities ranging from a family stroll to a serious backcountry journey.
View from Mt Fyffe towards Kowhai River and Manakau Mt Fyffe (1602 m) Time: 8 hr return
Superb views over the Kaikoura plains and peninsula reward those who climb on Mt Fyffe. On a clear day the view at higher levels includes Banks Peninsula and the North Island. From Mt Fyffe carpark follow the 4WD road up the mountain's long south-west ridge. The road goes right to the summit; a return journey of about 8 hours.
Those wanting a shorter journey could go as far as Mt Fyffe Hut (5 hours return) or the lookout point near a firepond, which is just an hour above the carpark. The Spaniard Spur Route offers a steeper alternative route to the upper mountain via the Kowhai River.
Observe seals and seabirds, explore historic pā and whaling sites and enjoy clifftop views of the sea and mountains. Suitable for families, the whole walkway takes three hours but you can also explore a range of shorter tracks. It juts from the rugged east coast of the South Island, with a backdrop of steep mountains, snow-capped in winter.
Its wildlife includes whales, dolphins, seals, birds and crayfish. An impressive collection of information panels along the walkway explains the rich history, geology, animals and plants that make the area so special.
The track crosses the peninsula’s clifftop, with excellent views of the Seaward Kaikoura Range, ocean and coastline, to South Bay. It returns to the township via South Bay and Toms Track.
Distinctive marker posts and, at some locations, interpretation signs link a loop walkway, from West End the town centre, to Point Kean car park.
To fully explore and enjoy the features of the walk, allow at least three hours to complete the whole walkway.