Marlborough Sounds

Mar 29th, 2010, 04:32 AM
  #1  
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Marlborough Sounds

Any suggestions for a place to stay? Our preference is a self-catering cottage in a beautiful setting. For example, we loved Ocean View Chalets just outside of Abel Tasman and hope to find someplace like that.

Thanks!
Songdoc is offline  
Mar 29th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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My personal favorite is Bay of Many Coves - it's a resort you reach by water taxi and it's a lovely place. Although it's a resort, you can also self cater, as their rooms are actually apartments with full kitchens. You'll need to carry in all your provisions if you plan to self-cater though, as there's no place to shop. The resort also has a restaurant and two cafes.

I've stayed at Bay of Many Coves twice, both during low season when they were offering specials. It's not cheap. They've also undergone new ownership and management since I stayed there last...I just looked at the new website the other day.

Another option is Craglee Lodge, which is in the next cove over from Bay of Many Coves. It's more of a B&B though, not self-catering, and all meals are included, so it's a bit pricy as well. I've met the owners and I'd not hestiate to stay there if it were in my budget.

A poster here on Fodor's recently suggested the cottage at Hopewell. It's a backpackers lodge in the sounds, but apparently they also have one self-catering cottage. I was considering it myself for our next trip if I can't get a deal at Bay of Many Coves.

http://www.hopewell.co.nz/accommodation.php

Whatever you do I strongly suggest you avoid Punga Cove Resort - we stayed there several years ago and it was awful. I've been following their reviews over the years and they still seem to be fraught with problems.

I've visited the Portage and Furneaux Lodge over the years, but I've never stayed at either place.

This one has caught my eye - it looks nice and is accessible by road from Picton:

http://www.colesbay.co.nz/

More options listed here:

http://www.holidayhouses.co.nz/Marlborough-Sounds.asp

Whatever you do I strongly suggest you avoid Punga Cove Resort - we stayed there several years ago and it was awful. I've been following their reviews over the years and they still seem to be fraught with problems.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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Sorry for the double blurb....I meant to move that paragraph, not repeat it.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2010, 03:32 PM
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I just remembered you're going in May, right? Low season rates at BOMC!

http://www.bayofmanycoves.co.nz/reservations.html
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 06:31 PM
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Bay of Many Coves looks wonderful -- but even the low season rates of $350/nt are more than I want to spend

I've sent some questions to the Tui Nature Reserve that has a cottage for $140/nt. It looks fantastic -- but quite isolated, with access only by boat or seaplane.

Also sent an inquiry to Te Mahia Bay Resort that has rates starting at $148.

I'll keep you posted -- and am still open to suggestions ...

Thanks!
Songdoc is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 07:31 PM
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The cottage at Hopewellsounds nice..$160/nt.
mlgb is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 08:01 PM
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I hear ya Songdoc, even in low season BOMC is $$$. They sometimes offer three nights for the price of two (at low season rates), which is the only way we've managed to stay there.

Te Mahia Bay Resort looks promising, but I had to laugh at the 'frozen gourmet meals available'.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 08:23 PM
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More options on this site:

http://www.tourism.net.nz/region/mar...-and-retreats/
Melnq8 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2010, 05:51 PM
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Well ... Tui Nature Reserve was my first choice -- but it's not an option. The only way to get there seems to be the mail boat that runs only on Fridays--and my schedule won't permit a Friday to Friday stay. The float plane doesn't operate during the winter.

I'll be leaving from Wellington and would have to fly or take the ferry to Picton. In Picton I'd rent a car. From Picton, Hopewell Lodge is about a three hour drive that is described as "beautiful--but challenging." Part of it is on an unsealed road. This is not an acceptable option.

The other option seems awfully complicated--and expensive. Once I get to Picton I'd take a taxi to Cougar Line Services water taxi to connect with Kenepuru Water Taxi which operates in the Kenepuru Sound to bring you to Hopewell. The cost is $150 return per person -- in addition to the cost of the flight or ferry from Wellington.

Te Mahia would be a bit easier--but it's not the top of my list. I prefer a rustic, private chalet, but this would be a modern motel unit @ NZ $173/nt. (The less expensive "heritage" motel units are not en suite.) I'd still have to fly or ferry to Picton; then either rent a car and drive an hour -- or take a taxi to a water taxi.

I think it's quite rude of those Kiwis to put their pretty places in spots that are so difficult to reach.

But all kidding aside, I'm a little hesitant to:

fly or ferry from Wellington to Picton airport;
take a taxi to a grocery store (because all groceries must be brought in);
take a taxi to a water taxi;
and transfer to another water taxi -- all while dragging along luggage and groceries (which must be brought in) -- in order to enjoy a "relaxing" four days. I'm thinking it would pretty much take an entire day to get there -- and a day to retrace our steps to get back to the Wellington airport and fly to Australia.

I haven't ruled this out, but I just don't know ...

Should I be looking for someplace else that's just as beautiful -- but less hassle to get to???
Songdoc is offline  
Apr 1st, 2010, 06:29 PM
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stay tuned ...
I just received an email from Tui Nature Reserve stating that there might be another option. I'll post when they send the details.
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Apr 1st, 2010, 11:11 PM
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Hi Songdoc - greetings from the Toyko Airport....seems I read something on TA the other day about the owners of Hopewell offering transfers in their private boat across the bay, thus making life a whole lot easier for their guests. I think it was Hopewell...might be worth looking into.
Melnq8 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2010, 04:01 PM
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Okay, so you're not into driving on unsealed roads or expensive transport. Probably should scratch Marlborough Sounds.

A couple more civilized locations with nice views come to mind,

Akaroa (easy to reach from Christchurch)
Waiheke Island (inexpensive ferry from Auckland)

Lots of cottages for the latter
http://www.waiheke.co.nz/cottages.on.waiheke.php
You can rent a car there or take a taxi.
mlgb is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2010, 04:29 PM
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Wait, wait ... not so fast. There seem to be possibilities that might not be prohibitive. I'm waiting to hear back and haven't ruled out Marlborough Sounds.

But I will check into the above suggestions ... Thanks!

Melnq8 -- Tokyo? I'm jealous!!! Hopewell doesn't offer it's own transport but can arrange a series of water taxis and shuttles that I'm looking into.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much for your help!
Songdoc is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Don't be jealous, Songdoc, I was in Toyko for all of three hours...just passing through on the way to the US. Currently enjoying the chilly weather in CO, a nice break from the hottest summer on record in Perth.

If staying in the sounds is proving problematic, you might consider accommodation closer to Picton..there are places near Picton, yet still in the sounds, sort of on the edge if you will. I don't have any names at hand, but it's a thought.

I ran across a few other options listed here as well.

http://www.tourism.net.nz/region/mar...accommodation/

The jetlag is kicking in, off to bed for me.

Good luck with your search.
Melnq8 is offline  

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