Picton / Nelson / Farewell Spit / Abel Tasman
Puponga, New Zealand
We had a choppy late crossing over to the South Island onboard the Interislander which really smelt of wee! We found out later its because of all the livestock that are transported over - poooo. There was something wrong with the boat when we arrived in Picton and they couldn't open the doors so we just sat there for ages, finally disembarking at gone 10pm.
The following day we met up with my great auntie pam we had visited back in 2008 with great uncle colin who sadly passed away later that year. Pam met us at the caravan park with her companion Des, we got some picnic supplies and then drove out on the Queen Charlotte Drive. The area around Picton is very picuresque, it's in the Marlborough Sounds, there is bay after bay of golden sand and clear water surrounded by tree covered hills. Pam said we would stop by at their friends house for a coffee before the picnic - their friends owned the most amazing guest house over looking Okiwa Bay which was stunning - we had a coffee on their balcony and could have stayed there all day just admiring the view. It would have been amazing to stay there as they also had a hot tub with the same view - a bit out of our price range though!! So then we had our picnic at Anakiwa which was nice apart from a load of wasps decided to join us which completely freaked Kam out with his fear of buzzy stingy things! After the picnic we drove back into Picton and said good bye to Pam and Des. Picton is so pretty we just relaxed by the water for the rest of the day.
The next few days we explored the surrounding sounds, we walked part of the Queen Charlotte track and drove to Elaine Bay, very remote and beautiful we then headed west towards Nelson and stayed in Richmond for two nights. We met a very drunk english couple who gave us loads of bacon, sausages and eggs!! They may have regretted it the next day! Then we met up with Ellen, Pams daughter and her lovely family. We were trying to figure out what sort of relatives we were like 2nd cousins or 3rd - we didn't figure it out. We had a lovely evening with them and had a BBQ and a few beersies and we hope that we will be able to visit them again before we leave NZ.
Our next journey was off to Farewell spit, its like a sandbar that sticks out from the top of the south island - lots of whales gets stranded there every year :-( it was quite a long drive which involved going over Takaka hill, a really long winding road up and down - it took quite a long time. We eventually ended up near the spit, the road on the way hugged the coastline and the water was really calm - like blue milk. We stayed a night in a really odd and scummy campsite nearby, it seemed to be run by WOOFERS and there were many bored looking people wondering around with dread locks! The following day we went to the spit, you can only walk about 4kms on to it and the rest you have to pay to go on a tour for, we were quite happy just looking - there were many birds around - I would love to say what they were! After the spit we drove back towards the big hill and stopped briefly at Pupu springs where the clearest water we had ever seen was bubbling out into a lake. It was so clear you could see right to the bottom even in the deepest parts - must see the pics. We climbed up the hill again and at the top made a detour down a gravel road towards Harwoods Hole - the biggest cave in the southern hemisphere. We walked 45minute through a forest and then suddenly got to some big boulders which we clambered over and then right in front of you is this big dark hole - bit scary! There was also a viewpoint over Takaka hill which was pretty good.
We then made our way to Motueka, a small town near the Abel Tasman national park - this is where we had done our first skydive back in 2008! Ellen had given us a voucher they had won in a yacht race towards a tour which we were extremely grateful for. When we had come previously we went kayacking, this time we wanted to see a bit more of the park so we went on a tour which cruised up to the top of the park, seeing seals and a penguin on the way and then we were dropped off at Torrent Bay and did a two hour walk to Medlands Bay. It was a gorgeous day and the park is just beautiful. Golden sands and clear turquoise waters - lovely! We finished the day off with a spa bath at the caravan park - nicies ..............