Walking New Zealand

Discover Pelorus Sound and historic Nydia Track

- By Jill Grant Jill is an Auckland based journalist and photograph­er

The Pelorus Sound is the largest of the four that make up the Marlboroug­h Sounds. This incredible maze of waterways is shaped by jutting headlands, islands, quiet coves, deep indented inlets and bushclad spurs.

It is sparsely inhabited and hardly visited compared to the more popular Queen Charlotte Sound.

The small town of Havelock, known as the ‘Mussel Capital of the World’, is the gateway to the Pelorus where you can take a boat to the islands and outer reaches of Pelorus and Kenepuru. The marine, sheep and cattle farmers plus scattered bach owners have it all to themselves.

A regular ferry service has been the lifeline for far-flung settlement­s

in the Pelorus for over 100 years dropping supplies and mail. Nowadays it takes visitors into this remote world. The captain is quite at home telling tall stories of the past, like the woman who used to row her crop of strawberri­es an unbelievab­le distance into Havelock and back in a day.

The two school children who jet skied daily from Nydia Bay to Havelock then by bus to school in Blenheim and back again. It’s a place of folklore and no nonsense.

Between two headlands in the Sound is the less-known, historic Nydia Track. Once a major transport route to the logging mills, it’s now a two-day scenic walking and mountain biking trail through farm, scrubland and regenerati­ng forest, that is blissfully peaceful.

The beginning of the 27 kilometre track is at Kaiuma Bay where it starts out through forest of nikau palms and masses of epiphytes clinging to the larger trees.

After an initial hill comes the ascent of the Kaiuma Saddle, highest on the walk. There’s huge variety of plant life to take your mind off the steady ascent.

Podocarps, the poroporo solanum (which has contracept­ive properties)

 ?? ?? Above left: The Nydia Track skirts inlets of the Pelorus.
Above left: The Nydia Track skirts inlets of the Pelorus.
 ?? ?? Below left: · The Mail Boat makes a refreshmen­t stop at a small café next to a sheep station.
Below left: · The Mail Boat makes a refreshmen­t stop at a small café next to a sheep station.
 ?? ?? Below right: Walkers descend from
Nydia Saddle.
Below right: Walkers descend from Nydia Saddle.
 ?? ?? Below bottom: Pipi Beach is a secluded spot at Duncan Bay for fishing and swimming.
Below bottom: Pipi Beach is a secluded spot at Duncan Bay for fishing and swimming.
 ?? ?? Above left: Hiking boots are recommende­d for the Nydia Track
Above left: Hiking boots are recommende­d for the Nydia Track
 ?? ?? Below right: · Walkers stay in a comfortabl­e lodge on the Nydia Track
Below right: · Walkers stay in a comfortabl­e lodge on the Nydia Track
 ?? ?? Above right: Duncan Bay is at the end of the 2 day Nydia Track.
Above right: Duncan Bay is at the end of the 2 day Nydia Track.

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