Location on Google Maps http://maps.google.com/?q=-41.191181,173.932779
Our drive to Hopewell snakes around part of the Queen Charlotte Sound it takes 3 and a half hours to get there, with the last part of the journey on a dusty unsealed road that has Craig reaching for the 4 wheel drive button and grappling with the steering wheel on occasion to stop us skidding!
Hopewell is a beautiful BBH lodge which has the highest score in the country. You can see why when you check out the facilities and its location. Nestled in a sheltered and fairly remote bay the small group of buildings lie in beautifully landscaped grounds. There are all kinds of accommodation from dorm / shared rooms to a two bedroom self contained cabin with deck and views of the landscaped grounds that gently slope down to the little natural beach where kayaks await to be used. We take a venture around before dinner and decide that we should try out the spa with ocean view before bed.
Rob in his kayak. $10 per stay per person
Next day is one for fooling around with the kayaks great fun, picking giant cockles from the water - weird but Rob assured us they would be great to eat and unsuspectingly getting eaten by sandflies not such fun! Anyways we retreat back to our cottage for a lunch and am informed by the owner that the cockles are 'giants!' and we can add them to the shellfish feast that was happening that evening.
Not being a great fan of shellfish, Craig kindly cooks up a great Italian dinner and so the boys have the shellfish including our catch of the day cockles as their entree and we all retire to bed happy and full.
The shared cooking facilities are amazing, with a spotless stainless steel kitchen and fantastic spacious lounge with a cosy wood burning stove.
Shared kitchen at Hopewell
On our last day at Hopewell we take a walk through the bush along the coast - it feels wild and untamed like no one else has walked it in ages, it's kind of what we are getting used to, in that NZ feels at times like you are the only people around - but it never feels isolated and I think it's because the landscape is so alive you just feel it is 'with you'.
Our stay was great, and with beds from $20 a night you should book well in advance. http://hopewell.co.nz/