The first day in South Island started grey and wet, so instead of exploring the Queen Charlotte Track, it was into Picton for shops, the Community Museum (interesting displays of Maoriand local history, and the Perano Whaling Station) and cakes at Le Cafe! We decided to head on to Motueka and the Abel Tasman rather than hang around, so we drove through the dramatic Richmond mountains without seeing a great deal due to persistent rain, until we approached Nelson.This area seemed to have missed the rain altogether, and it was sunny by the time we reached the Top 10 Park at Motueka, so a barbie was in order. We booked the Sea Shuttle Discoverer Day, a mixture of boat cruise and walking in the Abel Tasman National Park, and were picked up the following morningto start the cruise at Kaiteriteri. The boat stopped to look at Split Apple Rock, seals at Tonga Island and most memorably, three young killer whales that swam round the boat for several minutes. Allthis as well as beautiful golden beaches, crystal clear water and lush green wooded hills! After a quick stop at the furthest point,Totaranui, J&J got off at Bark Bay on the return trip to walk to Torrent Bay, where C&M had disembarked with the aid of waders as the tide was rapidly going out, and had explored the bay, mainly from a horizontal position on the beach.By then it was clear skies and quite hot, so there were a few red bits by the end of the day.