I arrived back from Nelson around five weeks ago, just getting around to posting about it!

I drove to Nelson via a kayaking trip in the Abel Tasman, which was great. It was for a couple of hours, and went past a seal colony with cute baby seals.

After the kayaking detour, I went straight to Nelson. I couldn’t check into my room as I was there too early, so went straight to the most central point of New Zealand.

By now, I should’ve realised that to get to post places in this country, you have to climb up a hill. This was no different, and probably should’ve worn something other than flip flops to get up to the top.

For pretty much my whole trip in the South Island, my hostel roommates were nice, but just woke me up all the bloody time. I didn’t feel like doing much during my first day. Instead of forcing myself out to do something I went to the cinema and watched Jumanji.

In New Zealand there are what’s known as the Great Walks, which are essentially the best multi-day hikes. The Abel Tasman Track is one of them. I didn’t particularly feel like walking for two to three days with camping gear. Instead, I caught a water taxi out to the track, and walked back. It was definitely one of the nicest walks I’ve done in New Zealand.

My final morning in Nelson, I went for a coffee before catching a flight to Wellington, then started back at work the day afterwards.

Overall, the trip was great. Kaikoura was definitely the highlight, seeing whales, dolphins and seals. I did feel as though I’m getting old though, as I feel that I cannot really do hostels anymore. They just wind me up too much. Since arriving in New Zealand, I’ve done a pretty good job of seeing everything that I want to – now there’s only a few places left which is all booked up.

Takaka & Golden Bay

The drive to Takaka took most of the day – a good 8 hours, with stops. I ended up stopping at a waterfall that I can’t remember the name of, Nelson Lakes National Park for a quick walk, and Te Waikoropupu springs.

To get to the springs I had to drive through Takaka. I figured that it was the time of day where least people would be there, so it’d be easier to get a park. Google Maps did throw me off guard, as the springs are shortened to ‘Pupu Springs. When I heard “Head left onto poo poo springs…” I did laugh more than I probably should have.

Te Waikoropupu is the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand. It contains some of the clearest water recorded in the world, and is a place of great significance to the Maori people. The picture doesn’t do justice as to how clear the water actually is.

For my first whole day in Takaka I drove up to Cape Farewell. You can’t walk past 4km onto the spit, unless you are with an organised tour. I had a bit of a walk on there, then drove up to Wharaiki Beach.

There’s been very few times where I’ve gone for a walk in flip flops and been really glad that I did. This was one of those walks. It’s a bit of a walk onto the beach, and then it got really, really windy once on the beach. It’s one of the featured wallpapers on Windows 10 computers and the most northern point of the South Island.

Afterwards, I went back to Takaka, stopping off at the Labrinth Rocks. It’s a bit of a hard one to explain – it’s a maze of rocks, with toys scattered around it. I had the Pikachu toy that I won on a claw machine in Tokyo on me, so it made some new friends.

On the final day there I headed off to Wainui Falls – the walking track was quite short, around 20 minutes. After, I went to Rawhiti caves. The road there only allowed one car to go in either direction, so it did put my reversing skills to the test.

The walk to the top certainly was not the easiest, but I was really surprised by the caves – I was expecting a small area, but these were huge. I didn’t take my camera camera with me, just my phone camera, but better pictures can be found with a google search :).

I left Takaka early in the morning to go to Nelson, via kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park.