A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about swimming

Nelson to Farewell Spit via Abel Tasman then back to Picton

South Island

We headed in the direction of Abel Tasman and stopped at Motueka to speak to the DOC office about walking in Abel Tasman. It’s quite expensive to stay in the huts and campsites so we opted for a day walk instead and decided we would do it on our way back down.

We drove to Kaiteriteri for a swim in the sea. The beach here was beautiful and the sea created a lagoon to swim in. It was pretty busy by NZ standards though!

From here we headed north to Golden Bay and camped just before Pakawau at a park over property (it was a cafe very close to the beach) for 2 nights. During the 2nd day we explored even further north, making it to farewell spit and over to Wharariki beach which had baby seals learning to swim in the pools which the sea creates near the beach.
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We then drove to a place called Pohara via Takaka. Takaka is a cute town with a hippie vibe, lots of organic shops and coffee shops and signs for yoga classes. We stayed in Pohara right on a marina where we fished. We caught a few snapper but they were too small to keep. There were also lots of massive string rays swimming around!
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We stayed here for 2 nights and during 1 day we went to explore some of Abel Tasman National Park. There is a day loop walk you can do rather than a 5 day Great Walk, however some of it was shut due to fire risk so we just have to walk to a bay and back. The walk it’s self was quite boring as it’s just up and down in some trees but once we got to the bay/beach it was beautiful! There was no one around and the beach was pristine!
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We then drove all the way back to Picton which was a long drive but we needed to get there to try and get a new windscreen fitted before heading to the North Island. We went for a wander around Picton, not much there really but a couple of nice cafes/restaurants and stayed overnight in the centre.

The next day we went to get a new windscreen but we’re advised to wait so we managed to get on the evening ferry to the Wellington. We killed time in a lovely bay near Picton doing jobs on the van.
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This marks the end of our travels around the South Island!!
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Posted by Louisejhcowan 23:55 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beaches walking swimming s tasman seals rays abel takaka sting vanlife vypsies Comments (0)

Blenheim to Nelson via Marlborough Sounds

South Island

On Sunday we had a lazy morning and went for coffee in Blenheim. It seemed like a cute town with lovely gardens and lots of cafes.

From here we drove to Picton. This is where you get the ferry to the North Island and also is the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds.
The weather since we have been in Marlborough has been beautiful, sunshine everyday and not a cloud in the sky.
We drove through Picton as we will visit it on our way back down and started our drive into the sounds along the windy Queen Charlotte road.
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We decided went just past Double Bay to a place called Ohingaroa Bay and camped on the side of the sound. It was beautiful. There were only 4 campers allowed and we got one of the spots. We sunbathed and chilled out all afternoon as it was so peaceful. In the evening we went for a walk on the beach and there were clams everywhere so we collected some, we noticed a few rogue mussels too and when we got to the end of the beach we found loads on some rocks which we also foraged!
We cleaned them and prepped them ready for tea the next day.
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The Marlborough Sounds is pretty big with lots of no exit winding roads to get to places so we decided to just pick 1 place to get to rather than exploring it all. We drove up to somewhere called Mistletoe Bay which is part of the Queen Charlotte walking track - this is something I would like to do one day as this part of the world is so nice.
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We went swimming in the bay - it was gorgeous! And again found more mussels which we picked and prepped for the next days tea - think we might get sick of mussels!
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From here we set off towards Nelson, driving through a place called Havelock which is apparently the green lipped mussel capital of the world.

We stopped at Pelorus Bridge which is where the barrel scene in the hobbit was filmed. The river here is perfect for swimming in and as it was such a hot day we went and jumped off the rocks and swam here.
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We then continued our drive to Nelson, there wasn’t much to stop for on the way. We stocked up in Nelson and went to Tahunanui Beach for the evening. It’s a shame we couldn’t freedome camp here so had to move to somewhere else for the night. We cooked moules marinere and it was lovely.
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The next day we spent it doing some van jobs and exploring Nelson as this could be a potential place for us to live. There is a nice vibe to the city and it’s great to be so close to a lovely beach. We went for cocktails and beer in the evening, the main square was busy for a week night and again it felt like a nice place to be. We camped in the city centre this night.
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Posted by Louisejhcowan 22:40 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beach bridge bay swimming nelson campervan marlborough barrels sounds blenheim clams hobbit foraging mussels vanlife mistletoe vypsies tahunanui pelorus Comments (0)

Wanaka to Kaikora via The West Coast

South Island

We drove over the Haast pass to get to the west coast, we stopped in Haast to look at the beach and the sea and continued driving up into glacier country.
The tree and plants change over on the west coast and look more tropical and bush like.
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We also replenished our stash of local honey!
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We stopped at Fox glacier as I wanted to see what it looked like 9 years on from when I last saw it and it has definitely got smaller but we couldn’t get a great view of it.
We decided to stay the night in Franz Jospeh which also has a glacier. Last time I was here I did a guided walk across it, now you can only access it by helicopter (making it expensive) due to how far it was retreated with warmer weather. Franz Jospeh was a cute village with some nice bars and restaurants.

We continued up the west coast towards Greymouth and stopped in Hokitika for an ice cream and leg stretch. The drives yesterday and today have been quite long as we haven’t seen anywhere we wanted to stop and stay for long so have just kept moving.

We then found a place called Lake Brunner about 30km from Greymouth which was perfect was swimming and relaxing and as the weather was so nice we stayed here for 2 nights. We fished, swam and did yoga and not much else!! We met a few people from the nzmca who invited us for drinks which was nice.
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Our plan was to keep following the west coast and reach Abel Tasman which is at the north west of the South Island and then work our way around the north of the South Island and finish in kaikora (north east of the South Island), however we read about the Marlborough wine and food festival which is on 9th Feb and thought it was too good to miss so have changed our route to now go cross country to kaikora and then work our west to hopefully still get to Abel Tasman.

So, we went back to greymouth to refuel, not much else here, and then stared our route cross country. There wasn’t much to see here compared to the rest of the South Island so again we continued driving to get the miles in. We stopped at Hamner Springs which is a small alpine town, looks very man made but again is quite cute. We stayed here for the night and set off towards Kaikora the next day as we had booked a whale watch.

Posted by Louisejhcowan 18:59 Archived in New Zealand Tagged sunset swimming campervan roadtrip honey west_coast vypsies lake_brunner Comments (0)

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