By Judy Mathews
On a brisk, sunny winter’s morning in Marlborough, Will from Driftwood Eco Tours guided us on a day trip to Cape Campbell Lighthouse at the Eastern most point of the peninsula.
Choosing Will in his 4-wheel drive tour wagon instead of the many hours walk there and back along Marfel Beach, was definitely the right decision. As we travelled over private farmland, opening and shutting farm gates, Will told us stories about the history of this place including several stops along the way to view structures and/or monuments relating to the area. Reaching the coast south of the lighthouse we rounded the last bend and there was the lighthouse standing magnificently on a rise looking out towards Cook Strait and beyond.
As Will knew the owners of the Cape Campbell station – the Peter Family – not only were we able to drive through their farm but we had access to the historical buildings associated with the lighthouse. One highlight was exploring the cottage used in the movie ‘Light between Oceans’, still in the condition used when filming. Another building contained informative boards detailing the history of the lighthouse, shipwrecks along the coast with the numbers of lives lost and more recently about the movie. Numerous photos gave a very clear picture of what life had been like at Cape Campbell in the last 100 years.
We ate lunch, provided by Will and Rose of Driftwood Eco Tours, outside what was probably the original school for the lighthouse children, soaking up the atmosphere and reflecting on how we had been able to have an in-depth visit to a special part of New Zealand guided by Will from Driftwood Eco Tours.