Lake Rotoiti, St Arnauds or Murchison?

wairau valley

The inevitable Wairau Valley vineyard

This is a new route for me and it should be a pleasant drive along the Wairau Valley. I’ll have a look at St Arnaud, it sounds so French, and at at Lake Rotoiti. The sandflies and wasps are said to be horrific 😦 I will probably stay the night at Murchison

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With scenery like this it is tempting to stay here and I can always be flexible 🙂


The classic view of Lake Rotoiti.

Things to do:
– Take a walk through the Murchison township; visit the museum for a fascinating insight into the history of Murchison and its people

“The world’s earliest non-military suicide attack is believed to have occurred in Murchison on 14 July 1905. A long-standing dispute between two farmers resulted in a court case, and the defendant (Joseph Sewell) had sticks of gelignite strapped to his body. When Sewell excitedly shouted during the court sitting about the other farmer “I’ll blow the devil to hell, and I have enough dynamite to do just that”, he was ushered out of the building. Sewell detonated the charge when a police officer tried to arrest him on the street, and his body was blown to pieces, but nobody else died from their injuries.”

Dinner is sorted. Dasha spotted this on the way in to Murchison, loving the art and from the reviews, the food is excellent.


Dasha’s photo from April 2016. I will be dining at the Cow Shed Restaurant!—murchison

Murchison Accomodation : Riverside Holiday Park,

19 Riverview Rd, Murchison

Phone 03 523 9591

$25.00 per night, free wi-fi.


Thinking . . . . . .



I haven’t finished my “Downunder” blog and I’ve started a new one. Blogging, it appears, is addictive 🙂 I was always going to want to return, you don’t visit the South Island a few times and that’s it done. I’ve been thinking about the places I want to revisit or places that we missed. So the planning commences . . . . . . . . . . .


The Kaitaki (the biggest ferry and always my choice) docked at Picton.

I expect to take the 9am ferry from Wellington to Picton, so I will have to leave home at about 6 am for the 90 minute drive to the ferry terminal and be there at least 60 minutes before departure. The crossing is three and a half hours. It takes a while to offload so I am imagining I will be off by 1.30pm at the latest.

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On the wish list is: A hike to the Humphries Dam

Essons Valley is located to the south of Picton and two small dams create reservoirs that provide Picton’s water supply. The walking track the Humphries Dam pass through a lush native forest that has been largely undisturbed by human activity with a variety of tree species and many ferns including large tree ferns. Time: Two hours . At Humphries dam, a picnic area is provided beside the lake formed by the dam.


I did both of dam walks on my first solo South Island visit in 2011 and met up with a lovely lady from Wellington who had just completed the Vineyard Bike Ride the previous day. I had intended to do one dam only but we did the two together.

Picton Accomodation:  Picton Campervan Park,
42 Kent Street, Picton

Phone:03-573 8875 (NZMCA discount)

$22 per night, wifi (cost?)