Postcards from Nelson

Friday, 6 March 2015
Nelson, South Island — New Zealand

A day that started with rain in Takaka; continued with downpours and strong winds as we made our way down Takaka Hill; and ended with blue skies, sunshine, and warm temperatures minutes after we checked in at our hotel in Nelson.

The Maori name for the hill on which Christ Church Cathedral
stands is Pikimai, which means “come up hither.”

Tahunanui is Nelson’s city beach.

Just beyond the island in the distance is the restaurant where we have dinner reservations.
What?  You don’t see it?  Well …

… here is a closer look at the Boat Shed Café.
Recommended by several locals, it does not disappoint.

Our plan to do another hike along the Abel Tasman Coast Track was a washout, but we can't complain ... South Island is under drought conditions and can use the rain that fell today.

Postcards from Golden Bay & Wharariki Beach

Thursday, 5 March 2015
Takaka, South Island — New Zealand

A drive along Golden Bay to Farewell Spit netted us beautiful low-tide scenery, a walk on a scenic beach, and frolicking fur seal pups.

Our day starts with scones with clotted cream and jam at Langford’s …
A quaint store/museum/café in Bainham.

The Salisbury Bridge spans the Aorere River.

At the Collingwood Tavern we enjoy a berry bang smoothie and coffee with a
couple of Anzac Biscuits we picked up at Langford’s earlier in the morning.

From a lookout accessed near the Farewell Spit Café …

Golden Bay at Low Tide … towards Puponga.

Golden Bay at low tide … towards Farewell Spit.

Golden Bay at low tide … in between Puponga and Farewell Spit.

Wharariki Beach at low tide …
the little black dot is a fur seal pup waiting for momma to come out of the deeper surf.

At low tide it is possible to explore some of the caves of Wharariki Beach.

With everyone watching the fur seal pups frolicking in a tidal pool,
we get to enjoy this momma seal and her pup all by ourselves.

Postcards from the Abel Tasman Coast Track

Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Tataka, South Island — New Zealand

An 8-mile (12.8 km) hike on the Abel Tasman Coast Track ... from Totaranui to Separation Point via Anapai Bay and Mutton Cove … scrambling over rocks, walking along beaches ... going up, going down … we had sunshine, we had clouds, we had rain.  What a day it was!

Anapai Bay

The other beach at Anapai Bay.

We scramble over this rock-strewn beach …

… to reach this gold-sand beach at Mutton Cove — yes; it’s raining … hence the rain ponchos!

Even if the steep trail down to the lighthouse at Separation Point was open,
I don’t think we would attempt the descent.  Instead … we have lunch and enjoy the view.

A different view of Mutton Cove on the return leg of our hike.

See the rocks in the distance … that’s where Mui goes swimming!

Postcards from the Road: Hawkesbury to Tataka

Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Takaka, South Island — New Zealand

A drive through a valley filled with vineyards and orchards, and some cattle and sheep ranches; and up hair-pin curvy Takaka Hill brought us to Takaka.

From the Hawkes Lookout on Takaka Hill — towards Tasman Bay.

From the Hawkes Lookout on Takaka Hill — Riwaki Valley.

Our home away from home for three nights — The Rocks Chalets.

Postcards from Mill Stream Cottage

Monday, 2 March 2015 (Part II)
Hawkesbury, South Island — New Zealand

We could stay at this self-contained cottage for a week and really enjoy some R&R.  Alas, it is only for one night, so we’re making the most of it ;-)

Welcome to Mill Stream Cottage!

A light dinner of fruits, and nuts, and cheese and crackers —
with a bottle of sauvignon blanc … compliments of our hosts.