Destinations Magazine

On Emptiness – Two Days in the Marlborough Sounds

By Leonoras


I’m not exaggerating when I say we didn’t see another campervan in our two days in the Marlborough Sounds. Not that we usually find ourselves with much company at all, but this absolute remoteness was something a little bit different.

A tangled web of incredibly slow-going tiny roads, mazes of sounds and inlets, obscured beachside cabins, ancient fishing boats and boundless farmland, the Marlborough Sounds really feel like something out of a novel – all gorgeous light, calling birds, and the kind of truly incredible scenery that only in this country could possibly remain so desolate. 

This is the kind of place that demands inactivity. Simple reflection over a lunch of cheese and crackers in the Nugget, perhaps a bit of tramping along the beach, two-hours of horse trekking up into the hills, setting up our clunky folding chairs outside the camper to enjoy a glass of wine in the late afternoon despite the fact that it’s absolutely frigid out, and pondering just how surreal and incredible this is, that we’re here in this amazing country after eight months on the road and soon we’ll be headed back home.

Somehow it became September and while we’re still soaking in absolutely everything that is the traveling life in New Zealand, conversations often turn to the next step and where we’ll be headed come December.

The end of the trip? On one hand it seems impossible to fathom, on the other downright exciting. It’s hard to imagine anything more wonderful than this year, so much time together, so many adventures, a seemingly endless quantity of empty days – but we also never dreamed of traveling forever. While next year will certainly be quite different, we’re hoping for just as many new thrills. 

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