A Travellerspoint blog

South Island stats

because we’re geeks!

sunny 21 °C
View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

1 South Island of New Zealand, 2679 kms (1661 miles) travelled, 15 days (110 miles a day on average – including non-travelling days), 11 Hotels / Motels / Apartments / Cabins in 16 nights, 9 different towns/cities, 1 Sperm Whale, 20+ Dolphins, 1 Blue Shark, 6 modes of transport (car, train, plane, boats (4), feet and a segway), too much food, too many glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, way too many insect bites and one non-fatal Segway accident all adds up to ONE GREAT JOURNEY AROUND THE SOUTH ISLAND 

Posted by neilthelr 00:46 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Picton: Last Stop on the South Island

Via the Queen Charlotte Drive

sunny 21 °C
View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

The journey from Nelson along the Queen Charlotte (QC) Drive is just stunning with the various sounds in view pretty much all the way there. Much of the Pelorus / QC Sounds are unreachable by road and what road does go there is ‘unsealed’ (a road without tarmac) but we did detour off the main road for about 45 mins taking a road where there’s no rest for the driver; turn after turn after turn. We ended up in a place called Te Mahia where we stopped at a small café and enjoyed a coffee and cake overlooking the sound. And, what a view….. We walked a bit of the Queen Charlotte Track later on (it’s 71kms so it was only a bit) and then we headed to Picton, our last stop on the south island. There’s not a lot you can say about our departure town. It appears to exist for the purpose of the ferry and closes about 9.30! We wandered around it in about 30 minutes. Let’s just leave it there! The highlight was the seafood platter, which was both delicious and good value. A nice way to end the day.

Posted by neilthelr 00:41 Archived in New Zealand Tagged driving Comments (0)

Nelson: The centre of New Zealand

Or at least by their measure

sunny 26 °C
View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

Today was a luxury because normally, after 2 nights, we’re packing up and moving on but a 3rd night in Nelson left us in a quandary; what to do? We took advantage of the free internet and did some US research in the morning - which was needed - before heading for a walk around town in the afternoon. It’s claim to fame is it is the centre of New Zealand. Having walked to the high point (in sweltering sun) the centre means it’s the centre of the central district of New Zealand; not the geographic centre of the country. We felt a little robbed but it was a good bit of exercise and the view was fantastic. Nelson’s actually quite a quant place but, on reflection, the town wouldn’t have been that busy without all the school kids. Still, it was better to walk around than Blenheim. The highlight was the evening meal at Hopgood’s. It was a recommendation to us, and we’ll happily recommend it to others. The food was fantastic. We’re moving on tomorrow. This whole 3 nights in one place is quite relaxing though.

Posted by neilthelr 00:40 Archived in New Zealand Tagged towns Comments (0)

Why does it always rain on me?

Abel Tasman: One park, two weather systems

semi-overcast 21 °C
View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

A 6am wakeup for a 1.5hr drive (that only took 1 in the end) and a 9am water taxi from Marahau today heading north in to the National Park. We had a small detour south to begin with to see the Split-Apple Rock, before setting out north in the sun. However, we could see the clouds looming in the north and by the time we got to Totaranui at 10:45 it didn’t look promising and our small boat was riding some decent sized waves making a few people look green around the gills. We headed back to Bark Bay as planned and were dropped off for our 2.5 hour walk along the coast back to Torrent Bay for a pick up and back to base. The walk is a lot of up and down but the views down to the bays along the way were spectacular and, given it was very humid, the odd spot of rain was welcome. We were looking forward to a dip in the sea and catching some rays at the end before our pick up in Torrent Bay, but just after we’d applied sun lotion it started to rain. Not happy. Plus the sea was cold so we didn’t swim either. The journey back was smooth and swift though so we could be thankful at the end of a long day. Well worth the effort.

Posted by neilthelr 02:55 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes trees sea Comments (0)

Pheeew, what a scorcher!

A perfect day for sitting in the car then

sunny 37 °C
View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

Just a gap day today; Kaikoura to Nelson via the Marlborough region. It’s a reasonably scenic route and very reminiscent of other vineyard areas we’ve been to. We stopped at Hunter’s vineyard for a taste and some dessert but headed up to Cloudy Bay for a proper tasting and purchased a bottle of their famed Sauvignon Blanc – NZ$30 to buy from the cellar door (£16), £45-ish in a restaurant in the UK! We’re looking forward to trying that. The mercury peaked whilst we were there at 37 Celsius according to the car. We later heard the hottest place in NZ got to 40.3, beating previous records. We got to our accommodation in Nelson late PM and would have to say it’s how all motels should be – near perfect. Early night for an early start and a day in Abel Tasman tomorrow.

Posted by neilthelr 22:47 Archived in New Zealand Tagged travel Comments (0)

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