4 March 2017

NEW ZEALAND: South Island - Picton, Nelson, Motueka and Kaiteriteri

Location: Kaiteriteri, New Zealand
Only Russia Wakes Up Earlier


Wellington, NORTH ISLAND to Picton, SOUTH ISLAND

We sailed on the Kaitaki Interislander, the largest ferry in NZ's fleet. Kaitaki is a Māori word meaning ' challenger '. About a 3.5 hour crossing, out of Fitzroy Bay on the North Island and across Cook Strait to Picton on the South Island. From there we travelled westerly for about 3 hours along winding coastal roads to Stoke, a suburb of Nelson

First impressions of this coastline ... spectacular scenery!

In Stoke ...

Stoke is a suburb. We're only here long enough to return our rental car, stock up on food and supplies, arrange for a Wifi service provider and meet LOAF's cousin; Van Kiwi our rental camper van. This was also one of our loveliest accommodations ... an old New Zealand stable that's been professionally renovated, similar to straw bale construction, very quiet area, private swimming pool, complimentary bottle of  'good' NZ wine, hosts are friendly and very helpful.

Meeting Van Kiwi ...

' Wry seems quite excited about my choice of mobile home for the next 3 weeks ... dontjathink? '

Van Kiwi (LOAF's cousin) is a Ford Transit E350 Diesel 5-spd Manual Cargo Van that's been converted into a Camper Van.

It can 'apparently' sleep 3, has a teeny bath area with hand shower (that we'll never use) and a cassette toilet, the energy systems are solar and electric and propane, there's a heater, the kitchen spot includes a 3-burner stove, a sink and a small fridge, storage is minimal, there's an outside awning, no A/C in either the van or the cabin and 'The Rig' comes equipped with 3 of most things

All those storage and organizational skills I learned making forts out of cardboard boxes when I was 10 years old will come in handy ... ' it'll be Great! '


' Abel Tasman is NZ's smallest and arguably its' busiest National Park '

  This is the second of New Zealand's NP's that we have visited. Wikipedia says this

There are very few access points within this park that can be driven to ...
Mountain bikers, hikers, backpackers and kayakers rely on the services of several sea shuttle operations in the area, to transport them to trailheads and put-ins and to pick them up at the end of their activity. 

Abel Tasman Coastal Track: Section - Bark Bay to Anchorage

We sailed with Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle to the hiking trail-head at Medlands Bay and returned with them from Anchorage Bay at the end of the day. 

We were lucky to have great weather: warm, clear, sunny and no humidity. We chose to travel in a southerly direction, there are some moderate grade changes but they occur mostly in the initial kilometres. 

The walk follows the coastline through forested sections that afford frequent high views of quiet bays and inlets. 

The trail crosses several creeks and streams and a couple of rivers; one that features a walk across a 147' suspension bridge ... this was Wrys' favourite part of the hike

The forest is sub-tropical and dense, side slopes can drop off severely at close to 90 degrees. Walking can be quite hot ... the damp coolness of the low and canopied forest sections are a welcome break from the high, exposed parts of the path. It's a very popular, heavily used trail; we walked 13.5 kms in about 5 hours and easily saw more than 250 hikers and backpackers. Once out on the coast at our sea shuttle rendezvous point we saw another 100+ kayakers waiting to be picked up ... don't expect to be alone!

Photos ... sub-tropical flora, young & soft granite, surreal greens & turquoises, sheltered lagoons, mossy rocks, beautiful coastal views, up-river kayakers, brackish waters, wobbly knees & closed eyes, sandy spits, a spooked gull takes flight ... cooling down a hikers swollen feet!

Marine Reserve Tour: Onetahuti to Anchorage 

We made our way from Kaiteriteri to Marahua and from there we were bus shuttled from the Kahu Kayak townsite to Sandy Bay.  

Waiting for us at the beach was a large convoy of Ford tractors that trailered loaded water taxis full of kayakers out to floatable water. From there, it was an hour boat trip to our days put-in at Onetahuti. We followed much of the same coastline that we hiked the previous day, but this time our perspective was from the water instead. 

Today ... hydrating, SPF50, some type of duck, beautiful sandy beaches, enchanting lagoons, view below the swing bridge, smiles, plastic boats, caves, Calgarians, interesting rock formations and turquoise waters, a White Faced Heron, Fur Seal with pup.

MORE! ... Other-Handed & Unexpected Stuff

Lots of trucks with snorkels

Fixed appliance doors swing right to left

Birds fly inside homes and other buildings, hang around, look for food and then fly out again, they are often successful

Most drivers are extremely courteous; even the ones that have immigrated from Portugal

Hotels, AirBnB's all want to give us a bottle of milk when we check-in; I'd rather have wine

Restaurants often provide very minimal service at the table; customer picks up a menu, chooses a meal, returns to counter and places order, someone delivers the meal, customer pays at the cash

How Ya Goin? ... instead of How Ya Doin?

On The Piss ... instead of Gettin' Pissed

Follow us by opening TRAVEL MAP 2016/2017 on the right sidebar ([view larger], zoom +/-, pan around).   
Click on any photo (some stock) in this post to launch a slideshow gallery of all the photos. 
Wikipedia provides some content. 

Wry & Crusty 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Nancy - you would have LOVED the kayak trip - thought of you - Jim would have loved the tractors pulling the shuttle boats out to the water LOL - hugs xxx


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TEAM: LOAF, Crumby, Wry & Crusty