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Visitors Welcome To Kenepuru But Please Take A Water Taxi


The damage sustained to Marlborough Sounds’ roads by the August 2022 storm was substantial, with over twice the damage of the storm of July 2021. Over 670km of Marlborough roads received damage, with over 4,000 faults.

Kenepuru Road at Portage Heights

Mayor Nadine Taylor said the Marlborough Roads team had worked hard to restore access to communities in the Sounds and return roads to public access.

“Over 600km of roads that were damaged in the storm have been returned to public access.”

“But anyone visiting the Sounds should be aware that some roads remain closed, with resident access only and other restrictions.”

“Kenepuru Road and its side roads, including Moetapu Bay Road, are restricted to residents and emergency services only. They are not suitable for visitors.”

“We love to see visitors coming to Marlborough over summer but if you want to enjoy the Kenepuru area, the Council offers a water taxi subsidy - and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of that and stay off the roads. Water taxi services can be booked through the Picton, Blenheim and Havelock i-SITES.”

“The Marlborough Sounds are a fantastic summer destination for boating, swimming, fishing and walking, with an array of great accommodation options including lodges, B&Bs and holiday homes.”

Other road restrictions over the summer holiday period:

Resident and emergency access only:

  • Kenepuru Road and its side roads: no campervans, vans or buses. 4WD only. No vehicles over 8 metres in length. Light vehicles only, nothing over 3.5 tonnes.
  • Moetapu Bay Road: no campervans, vans or buses. 4WD only. Light vehicles only, nothing over 3.5 tonnes or 8m in length.

Resident and visitor access:

  • Queen Charlotte Drive: no buses/coaches over 12.6 metres in length.
  • Anakiwa Road: no buses/coaches.
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To check the status of any local road in Marlborough visit the Marlborough District Council’s CDEM Map and click on the road for more information.

French Pass and Tennyson Inlet are accessible, but drivers should be aware that the road is narrower than usual in some sections. Throughout the Marlborough Sounds there are additional sites of single lane only, traffic lights, priority giveways and temporary speed restrictions. No matter the status of the road, please drive to the conditions.

This status of Marlborough’s local roads is valid until 16 January 2023. If another severe weather event should occur, roads may be closed at short notice. Please keep up to date via Marlborough District Council’s website at www.marlborough.govt.nz or via its Facebook page or Antenno alerting app.

Residents are advised that roading repair works in the Marlborough Sounds and Awatere Valley will stop over the Christmas period, from Thursday 22 December 2022 to Sunday 15 January 2023.



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