Nelson and Abel Tasman
About a week ago we left Wellington and finally made our way down to New Zealand’s South Island. After a scenic and very comfortable early morning ferry ride across the Cook Straight we arrived in Picton where we caught our bus to our first overnight stop on the South Island, Nelson.
We immediately got some great vibes from the city of Nelson. Known for it’s eclectic, hippy-ish, arts and crafts community, Nelson charms the pants off it’s visitors right off the bat. With knit cozies on every tree and lamp-post the creative nature of the city reins supreme. Adding to Nelson’s permanent allure was the presence of the Rugby World Cup in town. Russia and Italy were to face off in a test match on our second night so the city was pretty alive with world cup fever. Posters cheering on both teams (but mainly Italy) were plastered all over every window and members of each team could be spotted enjoying the festivities about town. As you can imagine it’s pretty easy to spot a professional rugby player. They are massive, and lets face it (ahem ladies…) they are HOT! Well, the ones I spotted were anyways. So, yeah… moving on?
We spent our first day in Nelson enjoying the arts and crafts market and the rugby festivities. We also made some big decisions on this first day. We finally decided on a departure date from this lovely country. On October 14th we will be flying from Christchurch to Nadi, Fiji where we will spend a few weeks enjoying the beaches, sunshine and the company of our friends Chris and Sheryl from the Funky Green days! We are very excited to know that warm weather is coming our way soon. Even though it has been a very mild winter by our Canadian standards, it has still been a winter and we’re anxious to be warm once again! Plus, I mean it’s Fiji, this is another dream destination to check off of the list (jealous?).
On our second day in Nelson we actually left the city to head out to Abel Tasman National Park to do a day hike on one of the coastal trails. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite as nice as we expected so we stayed bundled up most of the hike. Abel Tasman had been high up on our list of places to visit while in New Zealand so we’re very glad to have had a chance to experience it, however it clearly is a destination best to be enjoyed in the warmer months. The trail offered spectacular views over many of the parks beaches and bays, we could just imagine how fantastic it would be to spend the day lounging on those beaches during the summer months. That said, throughout the summer months the number of visitors to the park sky-rockets so we were kind of lucky in a way to have had the park more or less all to ourselves. Our highlights from Abel Tasman were probably the Aqua Taxi ride over to Anchorage bay where we spotted a seal colony as well as a blue penguin.
Our next few days in Nelson were spent running out to the nearby beach and exploring many of the towns’ quirky features. While we were in Nelson we stayed at a hostel called the Shortbread Cottage. It was a really lovely, cozy little place located a few minutes walk from the central business district and right across the street from the stadium where Italy and Russia faced off. It was really nice and we would highly recommend it to anyone planning to stop over in Nelson.