Kayaking at Okiwi Bay & French Pass – Day 85
Okiwi Bay to French Pass to D’Urville Island
Today on New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year, we are starting by kayaking in Okiwi Bay before making our way on the French Pass road to D’Urville Island for some fishing and chilling in the D’Urville Island Wilderness Resort.
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Today we are getting far far far off the beaten track.
This morning Okiwi Bay Holiday Park have organised for us to do some freedom kayak hire. All we have to do is meet a lady called Helen down at the bay and we get some fishing kayaks and all we have to do is just leave the kayaks on the beach when we’re finished. Easy.
Fishing kayaks are wider and longer than normal kayaks and they also have holes on the side where you can put your fishing rod. although we don’t really plan on using it for fishing we appreciate the fact that they are much wider and much more stable. it makes it for a much easier kayaking trip around Okiwi Bay.
It’s a beautiful morning here at Okiwi Bay. The water is so tranquil, so turquoise and super clear. We can see everything going on underneath us. The landscape is just super stunning all the way around. We have these coastal cliffs rising out of the water topped with vegetation. It’s amazing.
It doesn’t feel like we’ve been kayaking for a while but Laura and I definitely think that we are transported into a different world. It’s all very Jurassic and just looks right out of a movie.
There’s no one else around so we have this cool and quiet bay all to ourselves.
But because we have plans today we start making our way back toward the beach. We spent about an hour on the water. And that was plenty enough for us to get to see Okiwi Bay through a different angle.
And now we are going back to the Okiwi Bay Holiday Park to pack our bags for a one night stay on D’Urville Island. We are picked up by the D’Urville Island Wilderness Resort host, called Virginia, she has offered to pick us up Okiwi Bay because we are going a famously winding gravel road to French Pass.
We are not even on French Pass just yet and we are spending a lot of time hopping off the van and taking some pictures. It’s crazy how amazing the views are. You can see all the way up to the end of the Marlborough Sounds.
Hey guys are you going to French Pass by any chance? Yeah. Would you be able to pick me up?
We are so high up on the French Pass Peninsula that we are even driving through the clouds but once we get out of the clouds this awesome view is revealed of farmland overlooking the inlets and bays of the Marlborough Sounds.
It is such an unusual landscape with all those little mountain passes reaching over the water. I’ve never seen anything like this and it’s stunning. This is probably the most scenic drive that Laura and I ever done so for in New Zealand we are in awe.
And we are packing all our stuff and supplies in the little dingy that I’m going to show you very soon. It’s called a boat, Robin, it’s not a dingy. and we are making our way all the way over there to D’Urville Island which is probably one of the most remote places in New Zealand.
After loading the boat in French Pass we are meeting our other host at the Wilderness Resort Ash and getting into the boat that’s gonna be taking us over the waters of French Pass towards D’Urville Island.
As soon as we get onto the boat, we are given some pretty high tech life jackets. It’s the law in New Zealand when you are on the boat of this size you have to wear a life jacket. We also meet the dog of the D’Urville Island crew. I can’t remember its name but it looks like it loves the water. it spends all its time with its head hanging out of the boat a bit like if it was a car. It is hilarious.
We’ve been told that there’s some whirlpools here at French Pass but we’re gonna be seeing those tomorrow as we come back a different way. As the sun is slowly setting behind the islands it’s a good time to take heaps of photos.
Almost halfway there, Ash and Virginia realise that they forgot to pack enough food for us tonight so they tell us that we’re gonna stop by the local supermarket. It’s a little inlet nearby D’Urville Island and Laura is invited to join Ash and shop like a local.
And by shop, of course, he means fishing so this is the first time I’m actually sea fishing ever in my life and it’s becoming a battle of who can get the biggest fish. I really get into a struggle with this one. It takes me about 10 minutes to get this blue cod up it’s a big struggle but Virginia’s giving me loads of tips and finally any moment now I get the fish.
I feel yeah I’ve accomplished something but I feel kind of bad for this fish. It’s like for **** Sake!
I have to say that captain Ash was not impressed . He really wanted to be the one bringing in the biggest fish but it turns out that the honour was Laura’s tonight.
And finally we arrive at D’Urville Island and start unloading the boat. We just landed on D’Urville Island there is nothing more remote that we’re going to do this year, I may eat my words later on but for now this is it. We have enough supplies for one night, a few beers and everything and I think that tomorrow morning we’re going to be experiencing some of the best outdoor of the country. But right now we’re just going to pack up a little bit.
Now we are unloading the boat getting ourselves settled in our room and we realise that there’s a fish bin outside getting filled up with water which we’re gonna find out later what that is all about.
We’re sipping on a few drinks in the dining room while the food our freshly caught blue cod is being prepared.
Ash is very proud of his secret recipe for fish and chips and I have to say it is the freshest fish and chips I have ever seen. It literally went straight from the sea to the plate.
Laura and I are often asked what is the classic traditional Kiwi food. I really feel that a homemade fish and chips with freshly caught cod is exactly what people have in mind when they think about classic Kiwi food.
Our surprise is revealed, it’s a fish bin hot tub for stargazing!
yeah I’m feeling a little bit travel sick in the back, so I’m just looking at the horizon but thankfully the horizon doesn’t look that bad, so who’s the real winner here? The person who’s travel sick in the back.