The chance for a night in the Marlborough Sounds was too good to ignore so it was up early with a slight hangover (following two days of wine tasting culminating in a Gourmet Dinner), and off to Anakiwa.
Anakiwa is at one end of the Queen Charlotte Track, which spans about 71km. I did about 12km of fairly easy going terrain, which was all I was up for in reality. The path was well marked and I had it pretty much to myself, with the exception of the occasional mountain biker hooning through.
Given the warm day, it was appreciated that the track was mostly through dense forest of palms, ferns and unidentifable trees. Lots of creepers too. Through the forest, came the glimpse of stunning turquoise water of the Queen Charlotte Sounds, of the colour I had last seen around the Greek islands. Such a pity the water is freezing but it looked so inviting.
The next day, I went to the other side of this piece of land, to the Kenepuru Sounds. A challengingly steep climb up the Te Mahia Lookout rewarded me with the stunning views. When I say challenging, it would probably be easy for anyone with any level of fitness.
The Anakiwa Backpackers was a lovely, clean and relaxed place to stay and the overnighter made me feel like I had had a holiday, despite it being so short. And I only did 150km for the whole trip - how sweet to have such a place on my doorstep.