Marlborough Sounds, NZ.  The kiwi bach holiday.


There's something quintessentially kiwi about a bach holiday by the sea – simple pleasures and just brilliant.



Penzance Bay, Tennyson Inlet, Marlborough Sounds.


On a family long weekend away at a bach in Penzance Bay on Tennyson Inlet of the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand. (If you're not from down this way, a bach is a small, modest holiday home, usually by the seaside) It's magnificent in the Sounds with high, steep bush cloaked hills dropping down into the crystal clear waters. A combination of geological subsidence and rising sea water has led to these steep valleys, over time, becoming flooded. We went with nothing planned and no responsibilities, it's what a seaside break is all about – eating, drinking, reading, walking and whilst it's dry – messing about on or near the water!  


One morning whilst walking along the stony shoreline there was a constant splashing of literally thousands of fish shoals in the shallows.


There was a mixture of weather - sunny lovely but cool days, and then what the Met Service called 'a weather bomb' – and they got it right – torrential rain and damaging winds meant we had to stay inside, light the pot bellied stove (it is summer but did not feel like it) and play games.  The pictures below show the same view from the bach but on consecutive days.  The hills are gone!


Our favourite game is called 'The Dictionary Game' where one person finds a word in the dictionary that nobody else knows and everybody else has to write down a suitably plausible definition. All of the definitions - the correct one and the fake ones - are read out. Everyone then chooses which definition they think is correct. There's scoring but that's not the fun, the fun comes with the creativity that is put into falsely defining a word. So one of the words chosen was 'WYVERN'.  

Here are the definitions, see if you can guess the correct  - answer at the end of this page.

  • A type of spring where water flows from a crack in the rock face.
  • A configuration traditional in willow weaving.
  • The small opening of a water spout attached to a mill.
  • A winged two legged dragon with a barbed tail.


The weather was kind at times, allowing the kayaks to be taken out onto the water.



There was also the chance for a bit of fishing from the jetty.


Archers Track leads from Penzance Bay to Elaine Bay. It's a glorious track above the coastline looking down into the water and across the Sound to the steep hills opposite, and the islands and sea beyond. It's land managed by the Dept of Conservation and whilst there are some mature epihyte covered trees most of the land is regenerating bush with southern beech, tree ferns, rimu and nikau palms. Every now and then you cross cascading small moss covered streams.


After an hour and a half you come to Deep Water Bay - a great spot for a picnic.


Oh and what does 'wyvern' mean – from the French it's a winged 2 legged dragon, have a point if you got it right!

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