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Nelson and Abel Tasman NP

After a couple of days recuperating at Hanmer Springs we drove toward Nelson and to our accommodation in Ruby Bay at Azalea cottage. We went for an evening stroll along the ‘ beach ‘ which was rocky .

Following morning we drove to Marahau and booked a trip in the Abel Tasman NP. They took us by boat and dropped us at Bark Bay and from there we walked back to Anchorage where they picked us up. It was a well marked track with a few ups and downs and with some side trips , including one to Cleopatra pool, took around 3 hours for 13.5 k .

Driving back we stopped at Motueka at Talleys and picked fresh Gurnard ,Snapper , Chilli mussels and Salmon pate . Tonight was entree mussels followed bt Gurnard stir fry and BRBPilsner Lager .

Following morning we drove to Matai River and dam and walked to the Matai cave . Part of the route is on the Dun Mountain trail , a shared walking and MTB trail . The first part is mixture of wide single track and 4wd along the south branch of the Matai River. You then off and cross Solander creek and are then on atypical enclosed NZ walking trail with rocks tree roots and mud . The salmon pate was perfect for lunch at the cave . The round trip was about 2 1/2 hours or 10.5k.

On the way back we walked through the park in cwntral Nelson and had coffee in the mall. Much to my chagrin there was an out of tune piano outside and after some arm twisting my rather rusty fingers and brain thumpex out interruptwd versions of king of the road and piano man.

Dinner tonight wasthe snapper and more beer.

Track of Abel Tasman Walk

Track to Matai Cave

Larnach Castle

We drove towards Larnach Castle through the breathtaking mountains of Otago Peninsula. We stopped at a world war 1 soldiers memorial and had a steep walk to the top of it. Next we drove to Larnach Castle and found the inside and gardens restored beautifully! At the beginning of the day we intended to go to Lake Te Kapu but drove to Timaru. We’re in 1960’s flat tonight right on the marina. We had a great meal at a local brewery. Its a spread out beachy kind of place. Suzie has done a great job of driving the near 300km!


Woo hoo we ended up in Dunedin yesterday! We were driving to Milford Sound but the road seemed busy and the weather was drizzling and cloudy so we thought we’d just go to Invercargill! It was still drizzling at Invercargill so we drove to Dunedin! We ended up driving for 5-6 hours! Compared to the west coast the east coast land is lot flatter and lots of sheep farms! We’ve stayed 2 nights here at the Quest; walked a lot around hilly Dunedin! We walked around what they call the green belt. Beautiful old houses on hills here. Lovely cold weather cottage gardens again here.

Wanaka. Arrowtown. Queenstown

Spent 3 nights in Wanaka. Now that we’ve been in Queenstown its hard to tell which is more scenic. Wanaka is a lot more peaceful. The drive to Arrowtown also very scenic and winding. We had a look around the quaint old gold mining town and had a walk along the shady Arrow river. Lots of wool products for sale but very high price tags and busy with international tourists! Queenstown also coming up to their busy tourist walking season. We’ve been cooking our own meals except for lunch today where we bought lunch in a fresh food cafe! I walked up the steep streets to near the top of the town and met a  Japanese Queenstown resident and had a pleasant chat with her. Suzy had a look round the markets and did not buy a single item (just sayin! ). Heading off to Lake Te Anau tomorrow possibly going to Doubtful Sound OR Milford Sound OR both! !!