Saturday, November 12, 2005

Day 155 - Motueka, New Zealand

Day 155 – 10th November 2005 +13:00 GMT Total Miles 28251

I’ve got a cold so hardly slept all night and had to get up around 8am as Jill and I had decided to do a Day Hike through Abel Tasman national park. Had a cup of tea in the hostel and made a packed lunch. We drove to Marahau and parked at the Aqua Taxi place where at 10:30am we were picked up by a boat. Now the tractor drives down the road with a trailer and the boat on it, so we all climb into the boat and put on our life jackets then the tractor drives of down the street then down a ramp and across the beach and then reverses into the water and the boat slides of the trailer and off we go.

Our Aqua Taxi

Marahau Beach

The Aqua Taxi first had to pick up two people at Kaiteriteri and then it followed the coastline around the bay dropping people off at different stops.

Spilt Apple Rock

Abel Tasman Coastline

Abel Tasman Coastline

We got of at Torrent Bay which has a huge beach at low tide, so we had to take off our shoes and socks then paddle to the beach and the Aqua Taxi drives off.

Torrent Bay

We cross the beach and find the hiking trail and follow it through the most gorgeous scenery. The path takes you through the forest mostly following the coastline and has paths down top all the bays which have completely still crystal clear water and golden beaches.

Abel Tasman National Park

Most of the beaches are completely deserted. Two German ladies from our hostel were doing the same hike as us so had got the same Aqua Taxi and we sat on the beach and took some photos before we started off.

Jill and I on Torrent Bay Beach

We took a detour to start with to find a spot called Cleopatra’s Pool, this is a waterfall with a huge clear pool in the middle which would be perfect for swimming in.

Cleopatra's Pool

We then carried along the trail stopping to take photos of all the gorgeous bays and rivers etc.

Abel Tasman

Torrent Bay

Anchorage Bay

The sun was blazing and the sky was blue we could not have asked for a better day. The walk took us just over 5 hours as we kept going to headlands to see the view.

A Grasshopper

We could have chosen other bays to start from but 5 hours walking was enough for us.

View From Abel Tasman National Park

View From Abel Tasman National Park

View From Abel Tasman National Park

View From Abel Tasman National Park

View From Abel Tasman National Park

View From Abel Tasman National Park

View From Abel Tasman National Park

View From Abel Tasman National Park

The walk was excellent and the scenery stunning. When we finished the trail we picked up our car and drove back to Motueka, picking a hitch hiker up on route. We stopped in at the supermarket to buy some beer. When we got back I jumped in the hot tub for a while then proceeded to finish make pack lunch for dinner. It has been a great day but very tiring.

Day 154 - Nelson - Motueka, New Zealand

Day 154 – 9th November 2005 +13:00 GMT Total Miles 28217

Had to get up early as Reece and Dennis had decided to do a 3 day walking and kayaking trip around Abel Tasman national park and wanted to be at the rental place top pick up there canoes at a reasonable time. So we checked out just before 9:30am and headed across to Kaiteriteri which is about 50km West of Nelson. We arrived there just before 11am and they were told that they had to arrive before 8:30am as they had to have a half day out with an instructor before they were allowed loose with Kayaks. So they had to scrap that plan and decided to walk it all instead so I drove them up to Marahau where they track began and they sorted out getting home from there and headed off on their trek.

Beach View at Marahau

Beach View at Marahau

Jill and Dennis

Reece and Dennis Setting off

Jill and I then went to Motueka were we were booked into The Laughing Kiwi hostel for 2 nights. We got a room which a huge soft comfy bed, the hostel was lovely and has a small kitchen and living room, it has the cosy feeling and there were only 5 others staying in this part of the hostel. We spent most of the day just lazing around and listening to music, we made a trip to the supermarket to get some food then cooked and went to sleep.

Day 153 - Nelson, New Zealand

Day 153 – 8th November 2005 +13:00 GMT Total Miles 28149

Had a fairly lazy morning hanging around the hostel until Reece and Dennis had got back from town then we all decided to go to the beach. A German guy also called Simon joined us and Jill chose a beach about 20km away at a place called Rabbit Island. We drove there and it was fairly quiet so settled down and lay in the sand reading for a while. Dennis, Simon and I then played Frisbee for a while and then Dennis and I had a long walk along the beach.

Me on the Beach Covered in Sand

When we got back to the others we decided to have a swim and Reece joined us in the water. The water was lovely and warm and only came up to just over you knees for the first 200m or so. We then built some sand castles before we headed back to the hostel.

Our Sand Castle

On the way back we decided we would all chip in again and make a big meal, so we decided on a red Thai curry and picked up the ingredients on the way. Dennis started cooking immediately whilst I showered, I then helped him finish the food and served it to the five of us. After we had eaten I went in the hot tub and Sauna for a bit and then called it a night as I was exhausted.

Day 152 - Nelson, New Zealand

Day 152 – 7th November 2005 +13:00 GMT Total Miles 28124

Drove down to the supermarket first thing to get some bread and milk, when I got back the kitchens were all closed for cleaning so had to sit in the sun until 12pm before putting everything away. Jill and I then went to explore, we went to the centre of New Zealand unfortunately it was at the top of a steep hill.

The Centre of New Zealand

View From The Centre of New Zealand

View From The Centre of New Zealand

Centre of New Zealand

When we got to the top, Reece and Dennis were up there so we all decided to walk along the top of the hills along a path called Walters Bluff Way. This lead us to Founders Park which is a park with reconstructions of buildings from early colonial history. They also have an organic brewery here so we took a tour of the very small brewery. They only make 320 bottles worth a day. Then we took the obligatory sampling session, the beer was fantastic, my favourite being the tall dark.

Founders Organic Brewery

We then took a stroll through the Japanese gardens which was lovely and then lay on the grass for a while.

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

A Duck in The Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

I then walked back along the sea front. When I got back to the hostel I had to check my e-mail as I have not done this for over a week, longest time in my life I think. We all got together again at 6pm and went to the supermarket to buy food for the Barbeque. Craig a local kiwi joined us for the Barbeque and we cooked steaks, Burgers, eggs, Sausages, beans and veggie sausages for Jill and skewers of vegetables it was fantastic.

DJ Greasy Spoon aka Dennis

Dennis and I then had a few sessions in the sauna and swimming pool then we all sat around and drank until late. When it was too cold to sit out we all sat in the kitchen and chatted mostly to Dennis who told us his life story… Hell Yeah !! We all called it a night just after midnight.

Day 151 - Wellington - Nelson, New Zealand

Day 151 – 6th November 2005 +13:00 GMT Total Miles 28119

Got up early ad packed out bags then checked out, Had some coffee in the hostel kitchen and then phoned home for a quick chat. Vanessa turned up to wave us off and an American guy called Dennis asked if he could get a lift to Nelson.

Jill, Vanessa and I

So 4 of us filled up the car and we drove to the ferry terminal and checked in for the 1pm boat. Whilst we were waiting we went out to get some breakfast and found a nice pie shop where Dennis and I tried the Combo Breakfast, Jill ordered a veggie burger and got a pineapple and beetroot burger. We got on the boat just before 1pm and had a rocky sail across to the south island .The journey took just over 3 hours so we arrived in Picton around 4:30pm.

View from Ferry

View from Ferry

View from Ferry

View from Ferry

View from Ferry

We took the scenic drive along Queen Charlotte Drive which follows the coast for around 40km.

View from Queen Charlotte Drive

Bay on Queen Charlotte Drive

Then onto Highway 6 and into Nelson. We got to the hostel “Paradiso” around 6:30pm and had to wait until just after 7pm for the reception to re-open. We got checked in and took a look around. It has 2 kitchens and a swimming pool, hot tub and sauna, It has a reading room, TV room, Volley ball court and a large Bus in the grounds which is used as a lounge after 10pm. We went into the town centre to try and get some food but almost everywhere was shut, we finally found a restaurant that was open so ate and went back to the hostel. Several of the people we had met from previous hostels were staying here too, so we all chipped in $4 and bought 3 crates of beer, We sat in the bus and someone started to play a guitar so Dennis and I sang the blues then we all drank and chatted until the early hours.

Day 150 - Wellington, New Zealand

Day 150 – 5th November 2005 +13:00 GMT Total Miles 27982

We met up with Vanessa at 11am and we walked through the city to look at the government buildings. They have 3 very distinct buildings the first being circular and known as the beehive.

1st Parliament Building (AKA The Bee Hive)

2nd Parliament Building

3rd Parliament Building

A Church

The Oldest Church in Wellington

Wellington Station

We then walked back along the water front along a path known as the literature path as there are some famous and some not so famous quotes hidden along the route.


Jill on Oriental Drive

We walked to the car on Oriental drive and took a drive out to the Miramar peninsula and found a café called The Chocolate Fish. The Café is where all the actors from The Lord Of The Rings films regularly ate so we had some food, which although was good seemed a bit over priced.

Waiter's Crossing Sign

The Side of The Chocolate Fish Cafe

The Chocolate Fish Cafe

We then ad a walk along Scorching Bay beach and Vanessa flew her kite.

Scorching Bay

Vanessa Flying her kite

View of Wellington from Miramar Peninsula

Penguins Crossing

We then took a drive up to the top of Mount Victoria which gives a 360 Degree view over Wellington.

View from top of Mount Victoria

Vanessa and I

We then dropped Vanessa off and parked the car.

Jill in the Hostel

We all met up again a couple of hours later and headed out for some food. Reece and I had steaks, then we hurried back to the hostel and a group of us went off to get a spot for the fireworks. The display was costing the city $100,000 and was created by the person who did the fireworks for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. We found a nice spot and Vanessa had brought along 40 sparkles which kept us all amused until the fireworks started, the display went on for 16 minutes and was spectacular.

All of us waiting for the fireworks

Jill and I with Sparklers

The Fireworks

The Fireworks

We then followed the crowds back into the city centre and found a bar for a quick drink. Then we went to the supermarket and bought some beer and spent the rest of the evening and some of the morning sitting in the hostel lounge having a drink and chatting.
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