We had beautiful weather for the trip to the South Island – as we have had almost all the time here so far. The ferry ride is known to be one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world, and we weren’t disappointed. Also I have never seen that many people on the sun deck of a regular ferry, but we found some nice spots to check out the view.
Once arrived to Picton, we set course for Motueka, but decided to take the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive from Picton to Havelock, which turned out to be a great idea. The road is narrow and winding, and it’s definitely not fast, but we were in for some jaw dropping scenery, and every time we turned another corner, it just got better. Beautiful blue lagoons with sailboats, spectacular views of the fiords, and even a nice little hike of 30 minutes midway to a lookout spot.
We arrived in our camp site late in the afternoon to relax and hang out at the swimming pool.
The morning we got up early to get ourselves ready, as we were being picked up at 8 a.m. by Kahu Kayaks. We were taken by bus to Marahau, which is at the southern entrance of the Abel Tasman National Park, to prepare for our half day of kayaking with their guides. We were joined by another family of 3, and the 7 of us were going on a trip with two guides, Hazel and Morgan. We had a brilliant time.
We started out in Sandy Bay, kayaking to the Split Apple Rock, while Hazel told us the story of the stone that has split in two halves, standing nicely next to each other. It was my first time in a kayak, and a very good experience too. We pulled up the kayaks at the nearby beach and were treated with great coffee with warm, foamed milk, and hot chocolate for the children – they made everything on a small gas burner right there on the beach. We relaxed while looking for seashells, and Hazel showed a high level of energy in a frisbee game with the kids. She made quite an impression on them with her dreadlocks and easy going attitude, and they were both great company.
We took it easy while kayaking back to the starting point, took off the equipment, and jumped into the water taxi with our feet still wet and sandy. We were quickly taken to Anchorage Bay, a beautiful spot North of a small peninsula, with lots of anchored sailboats and a gorgeous beach. We were hungry, and first priority was getting a bite to eat – the lunches Kahu had prepared were delicious, and with our stomachs full, we were ready to doze off at the beach for a little while.
Before we were picked up by the water taxi in the afternoon, we had done the short hike to the nearby Te Pukatea Bay and had plenty of time for swimming and playing around the beach. What a great day!
I am astounded that your blog posts aren’t getting more attention in the form of comments! Because as you write and post your photos, I am always expecting to see a dozen or so people going, ooh, Astrid, what a beautiful holiday you’re having!, but instead there’s, like… me. Don’t Danish read your blog? Or… well, it doesn’t matter, really, because in the end all I really wanted to say was, I am so glad to see you on “my” island now :D. I am looking forward to seeing your photos of places I’ve been to, too, and then always having that connection that “Astrid came here once, too”.
And in the end I just really hope that you continue having a whale of a time and that you’ll get to always think of this holiday in New Zealand as a great, great time spent.
Happy holidays! I hope you’ll continue enjoying yourselves 🙂
You are so sweet! Whether myblog posts get attention or not, I write them very much for me, and very much for anyone who finds it interesting to come along on my journey, so it doesnøt bother me. However, I do love the comments that I do get, and I am so happy to find your comments here every once in a while. We LOVE New Zealand, and the landscape everywhere is just astounding. Driving through Arthur’s Pass yesterday was so special. My blog is a little behind – we are offline most of the time and depend on the wifi we have on the camp sites, which i often not very good. Tonight we spent on Punakaiki Beach Camp, and tomorrow we are driving towards Franz Josef. It’s great to have you here with us! 🙂
Lovely to read! Recognising many of the places in your blog posts, but surely not all. Great pics.
Looks like you are having a great unforgettable adventure.
Looking forward to every new post!!
Dear Jolanda – we are having such an adventure here – loving every second of it. New Zealand is beautiful, and somehow it just keeps getting better – though the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for me was something quite special.
Here it is 1 a.m. Now, we tucked in the children, and soon we are going to bed ourselves. We are in Punakaiki Beack by the pancake rocks, which is a small town, and I don’t think I have ever seen this many stars in my life. Have a wonderful evening tonight as you enter the year we just entered. 😉
Hugs to all of you
I found it very astonishing that you did the tongariro crossing in one day with the kids! My brother and I did it in 2 days, sleeping in rangers house somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
I remember the pancake rocks. So you aren’t far away from the gletsjers. After spending the day on the gletsjers we then drove to a nearby beach with penguins. I found it so amazing that you have these two big opposites (cold and warm) so close to each other. Enjoy!
Nothing left to say then HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Hugs back from all of us to you all!