Marlborough Sounds Travel Blog› entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
While White's might technically not be quite part of Marlborough Sounds, it is part of the Port Underwood Sounds, on the fringes of the Marlborough Sounds, so I shall include it.
The Cook Strait Telephone cable goes across from the Sounth Island to The North Island from here.
Once there was a thriving little settlement here, but now there is just the Cable Station House and a camping ground, plus a Surf Lifesaving Pavillion. This building is two storied, with toilet and shower blocks for men and women beneath it. Upstairs there the Surf Lifesaving Club has bunkroom accommodation, a huge lounge and kitchen area, for its members and a big deck to watch the swimmers from. They have lots of surf skis and kayaks plus a surf rescue boat to keep people from danger.
White's Bay was originally named after a seaman who jumped ship and lived in this bay for many years. As there were only Maori people living there at that time, it was said that the bay was 'Whites'.
There is a lovely sandy beach and great safe swimming usually, but when the wind blows southery big waves rush into the bay and catch swimmers unaware; hence the lifesaving club.
There is some native bush around the bay and it is alive with native birds. The dawn chorus is pretty special when they are all singing. Many walking tracks leave from this bay, some quite short others very long hard tramps.
The evening we were at White's bay there was a big bush fire fairly close and a helicopter with a monsoon bucket kept coming to dip the bucket into the sea, to get seas water to douse the fire. The sky was full of smoke and made the evening sunset spectacular.