Hand’s up if you’ve ever been to French Pass? …I’m betting it’s not many! Remotely located in the Marlborough Sounds, top of the South Island, New Zealand. Turn off SH6, north of Rai Valley and buckle up for an epic ride! For about half the trip (~30 km) you will experience twisty hair pin corners, one lane bridges, steep grades, and unsealed sections but, you will be rewarded with incredible scenery! The road takes you through farmland🐮🐑 + native and introduced forest all the while giving you breathe taking views of French Pass and D’Urville Island. OK, so if you are prone to car sickness this may not be the trip for you 🤢. Otherwise I recommend winding the windows down, putting on some sweet tunes (or Roald Dahl stories) and taking your time, because this is one roady worth doing!
French Pass is famously known as a narrow and treacherous stretch of water that separates D’Urville Island from the Mainland. There is a short walk to the lookout where you can safely observe this stretch of water, it is quite something to behold! Aside from the ocean and bush there really isn’t anything else out here which is part of the charm and attraction. I booked the Homestead for my 30th (a few years ago now…) and we had a right old party! You can also hunt out there at certain times of the year, fish, swim, jump off the wharf, or just relax. Hilariously, we were there just before Christmas time and Santa rode up to us on his lawnmower for a chat! If you don’t own a boat you can catch a water taxi to D’Urville Island to do various walks/hikes, which I highly recommend too.
Because the trip to French Pass is not a day trip you will need to sort out some accommodation. You could rent a bach/holiday house like we did, or book into the DOC campsite. I can’t wait to take my kids there one day in the not too distant future…maybe for another big birthday celebration😉!
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