Following Kaikoura, the Kiwi Bus took me to Nelson. On the bus, our driver Kane, sent round an activity clipboard which offered walks in the Abel Tasman for the following day and a sky dive that afternoon. I was feeling adventurous and decided to sign up for them both!
Once checked in to the Fern Lodge (a pub and hostel), the sky diving company picked up myself, Sarah (German) and a Brazilian girl who's name escapes me. On the way there I was nervous but excited. I just could not believe what I had just signed up for. Once there, we were shown an instructional video and then chose which height we wanted to jump at. I had to pick the highest, 16, 500 ft which is one of the highest in New Zealand.
After quite a long wait, it was my turn to jump. It was a beautiful clear sunny day with perfect visibility. After filming my introductory video I was introduced to my jumping partner who said a lot of instructions very fast, none of which I understood. We then all piled in to the tin can of a plane for our 15 minute scenic flight before we all hurled ourselves out of it.
The view from the plane was amazing, looking out over the Kaikoura mountain range and the Abel Tasman Nation Park was breathtaking. The only annoying thing about the flight was the camera man constantly filming me when I wasn't looking.
Fifteen minutes later, I found my legs hanging out of the plane about to jump 16,500 ft into the beautiful New Zealand landscape. All I could thing was, I'm about to jump out of a plane. Then before I knew it, we were gone. The wind was in my face and felt like it was keeping my body up like a giant hairdryer. We flew all around the clouds and all I could do was scream and whoop. It was simpy exhilirating.
90 seconds later, the parachute was pulled and we were pulled upwards. This part actually reall hurt my legs!! This was the point where I could really have a look around and see more examples of how stunning New Zealand is. For as far as the eye could see was untouched natural beauty, miles upon miles of green lush scenery that will always have me in awe.
A few minutes later, we were coming into land which was the scariest part. I was thinking how am I not going to break my legs! Fortunately, we landed safely back at the Sky Dive centre in one piece with something amazing ticked off my bucket list.
Most people from the Kiwi bus, left the following day to go down south. However, three of us had decided to stay for three days in Nelson. The next day Mark, Victoria and myself had all booked to go on a walk and cruise through the Abel Tasman National Park.
This was one of my favourite days throughout my whole trip. The sun was beautifully shining down upon the National Park and I got to meet two people who I am sure will be in my life forever.
We got picked up in the morning after most of the Kiwi Passengers left to go further down the coast. The rickety old bus drove us a few hours across the north of New Zealand to the Abel Tasman National Park, where I had sky dived over the previous day.
Once there, we all checked into the National Park office and got our tickets. However, Victoria and I had forgotten to request our lunch and were left with no food all day! Kindly, Mark offered to share half his lunch with us.
We were then told to get on the boat outside (which was on dry land) and put a life jacket on. Once on the water, the boat moved at such high speeds that the wind froze me. I had to bury myself in my coat with my head to my knees! Along the coast of the Abel Tasman National Park, we dropped people off at different points, most of them having to wade through the water to get to the shore. Mark, Victoria, myself and a Korean girl were dropped off at the last stop. Luckily, after much fussing from myself the captain reversed the boat right to the beach so I didn't have to get my feet wet.
The walk through the national park was beautiful but strange. The first strange thing happened five minutes into walking where there was a large sign that read 'DANGER. Explosives'. Then through the walk there were abandoned JCB diggers and pneumatic drills! I tell you what, you wouldn't leave things like that lying around in Stockport!
About half way through the walk towards lunch time, I desperately needed the toilet. So much so that I genuinely thought this walk was going to get embarrassing. All of a sudden I saw a sign that said toilets and I have never ran so fast in my life. Once relieved, we had a look around to discover a small hut where people can stay overnight. Behind the house was a woodshed (full of chopped wood) and a huge axe! So, me being me, decided it would be funny to have a picture posing like an axe murderer.
We then shared lunch, which consisted of Victoria and I sharing one half of a sandwich and piece of fruit. The Korean girl could speak no English but we invited her to sit with us. She ate boiled eggs and some strange looking brown liquid! It can't have been that bad though because she was very smiley but I think we were very alien to her as sometimes she look a bit freaked out!
The remainder of the walk was beautifully sunny and very enjoyable. We walked across a rickety rope bridge, which I jumped across not realising the Korean girl was behind us scared to death!
Our pick up point was a lovely beach where we spent an hour collecting shells and walking along the coast line. Unfortunately, when it came to being picked up I did have to get my feet wet and wade through the sea!
to be continued..