Will and Rose Parsons of Driftwood Eco Tours are 4th and 5th generation Marlborough locals and just the sort of people we love meeting. Today we struck gold! Will and Rose specialise in boutique customised eco tours for photographers and nature lovers who especially like kayaking under a full moon. Driftwood Eco Tours Blenheim Marlborough is a great find.
You’ll definitely see a few of these guys. These magnificent Spoonbills have a very interesting spoon-shaped beak. And on the wing, they’re beautiful.
We only had enough time for a 2-hour kayaking tour up the Wairau and Opawa River. This is an area rich in Maori and European history with over 90 species of birdlife. But first this novice needed a kayaking lesson:
There is another very important member of the Driftwood Eco Tours team who steals the limelight at times. Allow me to introduce the smartly turned out ‘Vix’!
Vix is an integral part of the whole operation and where Will goes, Vix goes, usually at the front of Will’s kayak. Today Vix chose me as her bestie and rode at the front of my kayak. However, every so often she’d look back to check on her beloved pack leader.
There is a feeling out here of having the whole world to yourself. Too few of us bother to get this close to nature and its so special to glide pass the elegant birdlife like this Shag (Cormorant). Close-up flight shots were difficult for me so this was my best folks.
The oxygen around here is pure and empowering and its so quiet, you can hear the sound of your own breathing. Quick detour to the right…Will’s just pointed out a couple of beauties.
Those Spoonbills are here again. When feeding, the Spoonbills move in unison in a loose choreographed routine and when in flight, instead of staring ahead they actually look around at their environment. I was so close to them when they off in flight. It was a special moment.
Will instructed us to stop our kayaks at an embankment by the mia mia (a sturdy shelter). So we headed off with the mystery lunch bag.
The mystery contents of the lunch bag are revealed. Will’s a dab hand at bacon & egg pie. It’s delicious. But I’m a bit reluctant to try those weird little muffins, also made by Will. He’s very proud of them. Would it be rude of me to refuse? Looks are deceiving. They’re yummy delish.
I love the driftwood that makes up the landscape around here. I can see why Will and Rose chose this name for their specialised tour company. It’s everywhere, bleached white and a perfect resting place for birdlife.
Reluctantly, the return trip flies by and I understand why Will’s customers can’t exactly define why their life has been changed by this experience – they just know that it has. I do know that it has enriched mine.