Wine Tasting, Nelson and Kaiteriteri


Sept 30th- Oct 5th

Leaving Kaikoura we headed back up the coast to Blenheim and to the Marlborough wine region, where we visited a few wineries and their cellar doors. First stop was Yealands. I have purchased this wine in Countdown and New World before and love it. We sampled a few of their best wines before taking a drive around the vineyard and the estate, we even spotted the North Island keeping to its name of 'the land of the long white cloud' as it was shrouded in clouds.

Continuing our drive around the Malborough region which produces around three quarters of the country's wines, we went to Cloudy Bay winery, which was classy and also not free, it was $5 each for a taste of 3 wines. We slowly sipped their famous sauvignon blanc and took some time to look around the vineyards.

Half way between Blenheim and our stop for the night Nelson, we came across Pelorus Bridge which connects the Rai River and Pelorus River, it is a scenic reserve where you can swim or tramp, we just went as it was another location in the Lord of the Rings movies when the Hobbit's roll down the river in barrels. It was a lovely location too.

We arrived in Nelson late afternoon, we have looked up a campsite on our 'Camping NZ' app, called 'Nelson City Top 10 Holiday Park'. We checked in and paid the expensive at $20.5pp x2 nights before finding our plot, it was the smallest plot of land, not really a space. The showers were hot and free though, and free herb plants to add to our cooked dinner in the indoor area. Wouldn't recommend to stay here though.

In Nelson we visited Christ Church Cathedral it was a bland grey colour and rather creepy looking. After wandering around the central area we parked the car on Hardy Street East and climbed up Botanical Hill, passing the site of the first ever rugby game in New Zealand, there are a couple of routes up, passing wild flower and fauna and rather ancient trees, all signposted along the way. From the top, named the Centre of New Zealand because it was a central survey point in the 1800's we had spectacular views over Nelson. The walk was easy to moderate but much easier on the way back down.

A short drive from Nelson around flood plains, we found Bethany Park Campsite in Kaiteriteri, the main gateway to Abel Tasman National Park At $25 its the second cheapest we've had, grounds nice, had a large living room with uncomfortable seats, after a while we realised it was like a religious place of worship. We knew we would explore a bit of Abel Tasman National Park but were not up for paying $200+ for water taxi to Abel Tasman.

We drove out to Howard's Hole a 186 m deep hole, we took the 45 minute route through forest and were in the middle of rocks looking up at the top of the hole and down the steep bottom where experienced cavers can go. On the way out we took a detour to a lookout point and it was so worth the extra uphill hike. We were perched on rocky cliff edge looking down and around a beautiful landscape. Away from the sharp rocks we were perched on was a lush green valley forest then beyond rich green farming landscape then snowy peaked mountains in the distance.

We then went to a sacred Maori springs Te Waikoropupū, the Springs are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water ever measured. We could indeed see the bottom of this enchanting blue/green clear water. Following Maori protocol you are not permitted to touch the water. It was a stunning site.

Waikoropūpū, Waikoropūpū

Pūpū ake te whenua

Pūpū ake ko ngā waiora

Waikoropupu

Ngā puna wai o Tākaka

Ngā puna roimata wairua

Waikoropūpū, Waikoropūpū

Bubbling waters from the throat of the spring

Bubbling waters from the throat of the spring

Forever bubbling from the land

Forever bubbling for the health of the people and the spring waters

The spring waters of Tākaka

The tears of the spirit ancestors,

Bubbling waters from the throat of the spring

Bubbling waters from the throat of the spring

The next morning we drove a short 10 minute journey out to 'Split Apple Rock' it's granite rock in the shape of an apple which has been cut in half. We spent some time on the golden sandy beaches of Kaiteriteri too before heading on....

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