If you are looking for a little driving adventure which is not completely off road then why not try the drive from Rarangi to Picton on the Port Underwood Road. This drive is not for the faint hearted much is gravel and winding but well worth the adventure of experiencing landscapes of wild rocky beaches, sheltered sandy bays and epic views.
This scenic drive will take you from Rarangi beach – a ruggered, pine tree lined beach that rises up to the flanks of Mount Robertson. While here you could jump out of the car and take the walk to Monkey Bay – this short walk leads from the northern end of Rarangi Beach around a rocky point and into Monkey Bay, with its small beach.
Next stop is Whites Bay – a popular location and one of Marlborough’s most beautiful sheltered sandy beaches. The drive carries on few numerous bays including Robinhood Bay, Ocean Bay and Oyster Bay.
Take time to stop at the top of the saddle and enjoy the views and on a clear day you will see Oyster Bay in the foreground with the boats at anchor, Cloudy Bay , Cape Campbell and further south to the Kaikoura Peninsula.
Visible will be the snow capped Mt Tapuaenuka (2885m). From Hakahaka Bay the drive takes you to Karaka Point - Sunshine Bay into the small settlement of Waikawa Bay which has the second largest marina in New Zealand.
You can then make your way to the vibrant seaport town of Picton which sits at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound. Enjoy dining at one of the many cafes or restaurants or just relax on the foreshore before continuing your journey.
I took this journey over the New Year holiday break and thoroughly enjoyed the experience after not having done the route since I was around 8 years old.