Grovetown Lagoon and the Wairau Affray
We found the Grovetown Lagoon and it really is worth an amble around. The volunteers are doing a fantastic job of laying secluded paths meandering through the trees and bush. Many native saplings are being planted and it is so peaceful and relaxing there, ideal for a picnic while listening to the bird calls. Mike is still on crutches so we could not explore too far and did not find the Urupa. A return visit (sans mobility aids) but with a picnic hamper is definitely planned.
We also visited the Wairau Affray (10km north of Blenheim) at Tuamarina ( I learnt this is a corrupted Maori word Tuamarino meaning ‘the calm beyond’). The memorial was erected in 1869 on the mass grave of 22 Nelson men who died along with four Maori on 17th June,1843. This conflict about land ownership was the most significant violence to occur between the British settlers and the Maori since the signing of the Waitangi Treaty. The Soldiers’ Memorial stands nearby commemorating the Marlborough troops who died in the Boer War in 1902 and there is also a Skoda field gun which is a relic from World War 1. This is such an interesting place which is filled with so much poignant history. The Titoki Tree is well worth seeing – it is reputed that the Ngati Toa tied a waka to it, allowing the Nelson men to cross the Tuamarina stream.