The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand

Marlborough

  • Exert your taste buds touring Marlborough's many wineries that are concentrated around Blenheim and Renwick.
  • Tug on your walking boots or cycling shorts and step/wheel out onto the 71km Queen Charlotte Sound track. 3-5 days of scenic tramping heaven.
  • Allow a little extra time to drive the dramatic (and slightly hairy) Queen Charlotte Drive between Picton and Havelock. The bush-fringed 40km road winds past numerous bays and is dotted with art and craft studios.
  • Explore the sunken valleys of The Sounds by boat trip, ferry or kayak. Rolling bush and native forested hills rise from crystal waters and are inhabited by incredible sea life, birds, and classic Kiwi bachs.
  • Ride through Pelorus Nature Reserve on horseback or pack a lunch and meander by foot.
  • Go mussel mad in Havelock, the home of New Zealand's green-lipped beauties. The Sounds produce exquisite seafood and perfect wine to match.

Green Lip Mussels

New Zealand green-lip mussels, named for their green-tinged shells, love the pure, clean waters of Havelock and grow there in abundance. Not only are they good to eat, but it seems they are also incredibly good for you. Regular mussel eating can reduce joint pain, improve flexibility and rebuild lost cartilage. So they say.

The Havelock Mussel Festival is in March.

Here's a vaguely interesting fact: male mussel meat is creamy white, while female mussel meat is orange. They are, however, as plump, sweet and tender as each other. Just one more major difference between mussels and humans.

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