The second driving day of our adventure had a six-hour drive from Rotorua to Martinborough. Martinborough for those of you unfamiliar with the New Zealand geography/landscape is home to wine country on the Northern Island. We weren’t too thrilled about a six-hour adventure but had planned a two-hour hike to a waterfall to split up the trip.
Unfortunately for us, the morning started with terrible weather and heavy rain as we made our way out of the first stop on the road-trip. We were nearing our hike destination and the rain had not stopped so we decided to continue forward on the trip and find a different hiking spot. We arrived in a small town and found a welcome center to get some information about potential hikes as well as our lunch destination. Next to the information center was a pot-pie store and we went in for the first experience with this NZ delicacy.
Post lunch, John took the wheel for the final 4-hours of the trip navigating some very curvy roads, hugging the left side of the lane for dear life (he actually did fine, a few encounters with the shoulder that we just wanted to explore).
We pulled over on the side of the road for a hike recommended by the information center. We walked for about an hour and a half and were blown away by the constant change in terrain and beauty of the landscape.
After getting back in the car and a stop at McDonalds later, we completed the adventure and ended up in Martinboroguh around 6:30 pm. There isn’t really too much happening in this town aside for it being a hub/landing spot for wine tours which is precisely the reason we decided to stay in the Napa of the North Island. We arrived at our Motel (AirBNBs are too expensive here) and found a scene out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and discovered that in the 20-room establishment, only us and one other room would be present tonight (thankfully they did have a black-lab for us to play with so that was an added bonus to the otherwise forgettable accommodations).
We unpacked and walked “downtown” 15 minutes to the square to find a dinner location. We walked into the establishment that Jennie had found on google maps and discovered that we were wedding crashing—thankfully we found the back-dining room and were able to get a fantastic meal. Post dinner, we made our way across the street to the bar for a few more drinks before heading back home to play cards before closing down for the night.
Next up—a full-day wine tour in Martinborough NZ