We had a quick swim and went for dinner. In a row of three, Charlie Farley’s is a waterfront restaurant that did not disappoint. The food was amazing, topped with excellent service and all for a reasonable price – for me the best of the trip. After a few more wines, we strolled back to the campervan for a surprisingly comfortable sleep. As we were parked just off the road, so we decided to keep the rear door closed to keep the noise down. With the campervan set up for either scenario, it meant we had a good night’s sleep, waking fresh and ready to explore in the morning. Using the campervans wifi, we made a plan to head to the furthest shore on the East of the island and headed for Man of War bay. The campervan handled the windy roads easily before we made our way on to the gravel road, roughly 15kms from the bay. Taking the campervan slowly over the gravel we finally made it – not for the faint of heart. The journey, however, was worth the effort.
Man O’ War is an excellent vineyard where we had a free sample of three exquisite wines – we had to make a purchase. From here we decided to head back to the main roads, giving the campervan a reprieve from the bumpy and dusty roads. On looking for a beach to have a quick dip we stumbled upon our second vineyard for the day, Passage Rock. It was lunchtime, so we decided to have their five wine sampling for 10NZD followed by lunch. We also decided to purchase another bottle of one of the wine, and that with lunch, they waived the cost of the wine sampling.
Eventually finding a beach not far away we had a quick swim and relaxed on the beach before we headed back to the wharf to catch our ferry back to the mainland. Our impromptu vineyard tour felt much more relaxed and significantly cheaper, as the two vineyards visited had free or less expensive sampling options than we had with the tour. I was, of course, restricted to how many I could actually sample having to drive afterwards. With the money saved, we purchased bottles of our favourite wines that we then enjoyed (showed off) with friends and family, so I didn’t feel as though I missed out. Overall a great trip that my girlfriend enjoyed, buying me endless brownie points to be used upon return to England. Wanting to do a one month New Zealand road trip but don’t know where to start? Check out our one month New Zealand itinerary for some suggestions. Disclaimer: *We advise that all drivers save their wines for when they are parked up for the evening. Click here to find out more about NZ drink driving laws.