Where: Wairau Lagoon, Blenheim, Marlborough
Distance & Time: 8km, 2 hours
Take: Camera, sunscreen, water
Amenities on route: None
Cost of the walk: Free
This walk is a great one to do if you have a couple of hours spare as it’s super easy to do and you don’t need any special gear. It’s a gentle flat walk, and if you time it right with the tide, half way through you can explore an old rusted, abandoned, full-of-holes boat that is shipwrecked on the shore!
The walk starts in a slightly unideal place, right beside a water treatment pond, so there may be an interesting aroma following you for the first 20 minutes but after that you’re out in amongst the tidal canals and bridges that make up this walk. On the day we did it the tide was out but I could imagine it would be a different experience doing it when the tide is in.
There is absolutely no shade on the walk so make sure you’ve loaded up on sunscreen. The circuit of the walk takes between 2-2.5 hours, depending on how often you spend at the boat, which is a lot of time to be directly in the sun.
It’s a loop track so you can choose to walk it in either direction. Because it is a flat walk, it doesn’t matter which way you walk, unless it’s windy and you want to try and have the wind at your back as much as possible! When we got to the start of the loop, we decided to walk clockwise. The tide was out, so it was pretty much just walking through sandy grass with some areas where water would be once the tide was in.
Without warning, we were suddenly standing in front of a ship wreck! There had been one sign at the beginning of the walk saying ‘Wreck of SS Waverly’ but there were no noticeboards or signs with any information about the wreck. So I still have no idea how it came to be there, why it was left there, or the story of the ship. It’s just there! With the tide being low, we were able to get ourselves on to the boat and have a look around – not that there was a lot to see.
Then it was an easy walk continuing on the loop track back to the start. Before going into this walk I thought we’d get a view of the ocean, or at least walk close to it, but we didn’t, which surprised me. Have a look at the map below and you’ll see why! It’s a very tidal area though, and I could imagine that after a lot of rain, or a king tide, that it would be a very different type of walk.
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The photos were taken by Paul + I!
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