Bay of Many Coves Resort
Instead of returning to Picton Harbour for the evening, we took a detour to the Bay of Many Coves boutique five-star resort, which is only a short distance by boat from Ship Cove. As the name suggests, it is located in the tranquil Bay of Many Coves accessed by a private jetty and surrounded by lush tree-lined hills.
There are no roads, and no other residences here, just complete peace and quiet making it a nice alternative to the hectic city life I am accustomed to. The resort is small, with only 11 one, two and three bedroom apartments that are each equipped with a kitchenette (though there are no shops, so impromptu cooking is not an option), as well as private balconies overlooking the bay. The technology included complimentary WiFi, and flat screen TVs with a few channels to flick through before bed.
One of the highlights of my stay was a midnight hike through the bush to see glowworms light up under the stars; the other was dining on goat’s cheese macaroons with a glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc in hand at the resort’s fine-dining Foredeck restaurant. trail stretches from Ship Cove through to Anakiwa in the Grove Arm, and sections ns (or the whole route) can be tackled on foot or by mountain bike. As Marlborough has a temperate climate the trail enjoys good od year-round walking conditions.
Along the way you can expect to see the national icon, the silver fern, as well ll as a host of flightless birds such as the weka, which is commonly mistaken for the elusive kiwi. Our knowledgeable guide explains that as the country has no indigenous land mammals (apart from bats), many of New Zealand’s birds evolved to lose their ability to fly. The winding route takes us through heavy bush, past manuka plants and ferns, and around interesting coves and inlets with scenic views of the turquoise waters of the sounds below.
By late afternoon we arrived at Punga Cove, our resort for the evening. Set amongst the hills with views of Camp Bay and Endeavour Inlet, this sleepy property is owned and managed by a welcoming husband and wife team, Ralph and Beverly Faulkner. There are four room types, from comfortable suites and chalets to a familystyley lodge gp plus basic rooms for budgetg travelers. There is no WiFi and no mobile phone connection, which came as a bit of a shock. If you get really desperate, there is a lifeline in the form of a communal computer in the reception with Internet connection.
The property is clean and well maintained, however the décor and facilities are rather old-fashioned. This is especially true of the resort’s restaurant Punga Fern that looks like it hasn’t seen the hand of a hip interior designer for decades. This didn’t detract from the delicious food and wine on offer though. On the menu was Marlborough Ora King salmon (NZ$38/$26), pan seared lamb rump (NZ$34/$23) and green-lipped mussels (NZ$16/ $11), a famous New Zealand speciesp farmed in the nearby y waters, steamed and served with a ric rich tomato and herb sauce.