Keen for some relaxing family time, we headed back to nature at Anakiwa.
Anakiwa is a coastal residential village in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. It sits at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui, within the Marlborough Sounds. It is such a peaceful and beautiful location it truely is hard not to relax and unwind!
We were lucky to stay in a friends bach which has breathtaking views across the Anakiwa village and over the bay. We spent hours sitting on the balcony watching the boats come and go throughout the day. Tough, but someone has to do it!
Every morning and evening the sea fog would roll in and the roll out....adding to the magic and stillness of the village. We had a pair of Tui's living in the trees along side the house we stayed in. They tested Jessica's patience by moving every time she got the camera out.
Our aim for the four days we were there was to spend time in our kayaks, bike riding and tramping with the kids. Lucky for us, the weather was perfect, so enjoy it we did!!
Each morning was spent in the kayak - well mine and Jessica's days were! Since moving to Marlborough I am constantly mesmerised by the colour of the water and how clear it is. Our few days at Anakiwa were no exception. We would kayak in the shallows of the bays and point out star fish and seals to each other. I had my camera with me in the kayak capturing the family moments and stopping at little bays and feeling like explorers and that we were the only people on earth. Photographing the seals rolling about cleaning their whiskers along side my kayak...a photographer and nature lovers paradise.
One morning we took out our two kayaks, Dad and 2 girls in one, myself in the other (Chloe was having a sleep over!). Perfectly calm water, hardly a noise...it was glorious. Sammy was a little nervous for awhile (ha ha think she didn't trust Dad and Jess!), but eventually she let herself relax and soak it all up. We kayaked without talking along the edge of the Queen Charlotte Track where the beech trees over hung the sea, it felt magical.
The moss hanging over the branches, the ferns green and shaded from direct sunlight, the fantails and kingfishers flying in and out of the bushes to come out and see us, or to chase flying insects for breakfast. Half way between Anakiwa and Davis bay we came across a relaxed family of New Zealand Fur Seals.
They swam around our boats, slept on the rocks - Sammy wanted to take the baby one home as a pet! They were so relaxed it was a pleasure to watch them interact with each other and us. We also came across a colony of New Zealand Spotted Shags. Weary of us at first, then they relaxed and went about their family business. Along the coast line we could hear the odd person walking the Queen Charlotte Track, they would be talking, oblivious to us below then out in the water. After exploring and paddling for a few hours we pulled up our boats and hit the picnic tables at Davis Bay. Doesn't matter what time of the day it is...there is always room for morning tea!
Day two of kayaking was much like the first, but Dad and Chloe rode their bikes from the start of the Queen Charlotte track to meet us at Davis Bay. Chloe found a few of the steeper parts of the track a little challenging, but was on such a high when she met us because she had done it! She tag - teamed with Sammy after morning tea at the bay. Sammy rode home with Dad, and Chloe joined Jess and I in the Kayak. Fun for everyone!
Day three...us kayakers were back on the water. Dad, Chloe and Sammy climbed on their bikes and went for a 7km ride from Anakiwa to Momorangi Bay. By coincidence Jess and I were on the edge of the new linkway bike track trying to take photos of Tui's when we could hear the voices of Dad and the girls.
The Link Pathway is a community project to create a 42 kilometre walk / cycle path that links Picton and Havelock. The project began in 2005. A major part of the pathway is already complete but work has a total completion date of Jan 15, 2020, to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook arriving in the Marlborough Sounds.
Time for home feeling refreshed and as though we had been on holiday for a week. If you want total relaxation.....Anakiwa in the Queen Charlotte Sound is the place!