We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

Seattle
Level Contributor
23 posts
99 reviews
Save Topic
where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

Our family of four has three nights to spend in the Golden Bay area. Thanks to good input from this forum, we've now planned for two near Farewell Spit, so I am seeking advice on the third night between there and Kaikoura. It was super helpful to hear how long the beautiful drives can take. We will have a campervan and will want to be as close to the water as possible! Thanks in advance.

Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
7,605 posts
437 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

The road between Puponga and Kaikoura passes through Nelson, Pelorus, Blenheim.

It is about A total of 400Km from Puponga to Kaikoura. But there is a lot of winding narrow parts (in Golden Bay and lots of one lane bridges!) and the Takaka Hill.

Puponga to Nelson is 150km (approx 2.5 hours). There is a great campground, Tahuna Beach Holiday Park, near the beach. Pelorus is another lovely campground. It is next to the Pelorus River and is a forest area with only a store. But the forest walks in the area are lovely. Havelock is the entrance to the Pelorus Sound. It is a bustling place with a busy wharf. They also have a campground.

It depends what other interests you have as what my suggestion would be the best stop.

Blenheim, New...
Level Contributor
871 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

It is a slight detour, but you could also stay in Picton or one of many Campgrounds in the Marlborough Sounds. I quite like the location of Momorangi Campground, there are spots right on the beach. The nearest restaurants/shops are about a 20 minute drive away in Picton, but I think these a basic camp shop there but best to take all supplies with you.

…govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
7,605 posts
437 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

If you are willing to take the campervan through the queen charlotte drive from Havelock to Picton it is a stunning drive.

but it is also very narrow and windy in places. But like Thrmswalsh has said Momorangi is near the water, although the sounds arent the best swimming areas. Whites Bay near

blenheim is also A lovely DOC campground at the beach - but Its a huge drive from Puponga to Blenheim in campervan, and Id recommend you take it slower and see the sights.

Blenheim, New...
Level Contributor
871 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

A lot of camper vans do take the QC drive (I seem to be stuck behind them all the time), The road is no worst then the one over Marble Mountain maybe even slightly wider on average. I have to disagree, there are many excellent swimming areas in the sounds.

Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
7,605 posts
437 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

Thmswalsh. I prefer Queen Charlotte Sound to Pelorus sound for swimming. Many of the bays in Pelorus sound have squishy mud based. But on a beautiful sunny summer day its all good. Yes, I do agree about getting stuck behind the vans, which isnt a problem as we all enjoying drive.

California
Level Contributor
7,838 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

If you want to swim, I think Pelorus River at the bridge (vs Sound) offers the best option. The DOC campground there has HOT showers!

…govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TOw9zdN_kY (start at the 2 minute mark)

Christchurch
Level Contributor
1,693 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

You will need a good insect repellent if you stay at Pelorus if you don't want to feed the sandflies. They are present at other places as well but they are particularly prevalent in bushy areas.

Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
7,605 posts
437 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

we frequent Pelorus and I havent noticed a problem with sandflies - sitting beside the river there is just awesome. And if you are a hobbit fan they did the filming of the "barrel" scene on the pelorus river just near the campground. An awesome place to inflatable kayak - had a great trip down there recently and definitely keen to do it again.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,388 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

the Pelorus River is extremely picturesque - and I didn't notice even one sandfly the last time I was there.

Blenheim, New...
Level Contributor
871 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: where to stay between Farewell Spit and Kaikoura?

I have trout fished the upper reaches of the Pelorus enough times to know that Sandflies are present. Sometimes these only a few, other times there are hundreds. I do not really know why their numbers fluctuate.