Port Underwood- off the beaten track

We took the most unusual bus tour around Port Underwood, near Picton, New Zealand. Considered an adventure, even by locals, we went by motor coach up through the mountains and along an extremely narrow logging path. I'm not sure how the driver ever managed to get through on some parts because there was barely enough room for a bus and at 3 different times we had to stop and jockey vehicles so that logging trucks with 2 trailers behind them could pass beside us. One wrong move and you'd go over the cliff!

At the top of the mountain, you had the stunning panoramic views of the water below. Summer wild flowers were in bloom all around us. These ports used to be used for whaling, and the large black pot in the photos here was used for cooking the whale meat. Now they are used for mussel farming. We stopped at a private home, because there are no restaurants or businesses in the remote areas where we traveled. The people who live there open their home and gardens to these coach tours and serve mussels, fruits, and small sandwiches. They live on Oyster bay, but there are no oysters, just mussels. These mussels were prepared with lots of garlic and roasted. I'd never had them so fresh, but they were tasty.

We saw lots of sheep, pine trees, and vineyards- all popular exports of the region. This was a great way to get an overview of the region in a very short stay.

mussels baked in garlic and other spices

an overlook near Picton

whaling pot

Gorgeous mountains and clear water

Sheep graze in a nearby pasture


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