During the last school holidays we decided to cross over the Rimutakas and spend a few days exploring the Wairarapa. In particular the area around Lake Ferry (Lake Onoke).
This is a strangely isolated and beautiful spot which is probably a lot busier during summer. But when we went it was still absolutely breath taking. The lake is formed by a large sandy spit which has cut off the freshwater lake from the Tasman Sea. It appears to be a popular area for fishing and camping and is apparently a very good area for surfing as well. However the blustery, cold wintery weather made visiting the one and only restaurant/pub in the area more appealing.
The Lake Ferry Hotel is perched on the edge of the coastline and is the only facility of any kind in the area. Thankfully it is warm and welcoming and the food is likewise. We spent two evenings there eating and enjoying the cheery warmth surrounded by the few other hardy holiday makers in the area.
Martinborough is about a forty minute drive from Lake Ferry and we spent an enjoyable morning nosing around the shops and cafes there. We also took the kids to the Pinnacles which is one of the locations from Lord of the Rings. The scene when Aragon visits the underworld to get the army of the dead.
This is a spectacular walk but not as creepy or scary as the film made it appear. As a geographer I find it a fascinating example of the power of water to create and change landscapes.
As it was my birthday whilst we were there I took the opportunity to mess around with my new tripod and lenses and I am quite happy with the results!
A winter sunset over the Rimutakas.