South Island, Part 1!
So I left the snorer and Wellington early on the Saturday morning and got a Ferry over the Cook Straight to Picton. The first part of the crossing was really choppy so I got rocked to sleep. I woke up and it had calemd down so I went outsied just in time as the Ferry was entering Malborough Sound. It was an incredible last half hour sail to Picton. We sailed through this huge sound, cliffs and green moutnains dropping into the blue sea. There were dolphins swimming between the islands and hardly anyone around. It was a pretty cool thing to wake up to!!
Picton to Nelson
I got on a new Stray bus at Picton and didn't like it from the start the people were pretty loud and bit annoying really so I was lucky to be getting off in the next town which was Nelson. I checked into a cool Hostel there that had fresh bread in the morning along with some other cool things available. I went out that night for a couple with Sabine the Danish girl on the North Island Stray bus. Nelson is a pretty cool town.
Soo my bus company kind of messed up my booking so I had to stay in Nelson for 5 more days, but this was a blessing in disguise as Nelson was wicked! Mam and Dad have a school friend who lives there that I had never met, so I got in touch with him and went to visit them. I had breakfast with them which was awesome because they had loads of fresh fruit! They told me about the area and things I could do. I eneded up going to there house a couple more times for tea and to lend a bike.
So the first day I was there I did a hike up and around the Grampian mountains behind Nelson, I got great views of the area and went on another Bear Grylls mission up the side of a mountain away from the path. It rained the next day so I planned some stuff out and chilled really, I went up a hill that was the "Center of New Zealand" and bumped into some people I had met in Fiji and in Auckland!!
The next day Julian (Mam and Dads friend) lent me his mountain bike and I went to do a new trail that had just opened called the Dunn Mountain Railway pass. It was soooo hard! The first 3 hours was all uphill! I never quit but I was soo close to that day! I was so tired and didnt take enough water. Once I got to the top though it was amazing! The views over the mountains to the sea were incredible, and the weather was perfect. I then had a 2 hour downhill ride back to the town which was pretty gnarly in places but much more fun than the uphill!!
Because I had more time in the Nelson area than I originally thought Julian helped me plan a hiking trip in the Able Tasman National Park. It would take 3 days and 2 nights, so I booked 2 huts to sleep in along the way and a bus to take me to the top of the trail. I left my big rucksack with Julian and took my little bag. I did a shop for food for 3 days and borrowed a stove and some pots from Julian to take with me. The day before I left I txt Sabine to see if she wanted to join not really expecting her to but she was up for it so we left 6:30am on the Wednesday morning to start the trail.
Abel Tasman 3 day hike!
The first day was really wet and windy but thankfully it was our shortest hike. We walked 5.5km from the car park where the bus dropped us off to our hut for that night. We were pretty wet when we got there so I made a fire and put our stuff up to dry. Some Israeli guys turned up and hogged the fire I had just made which was a bit annoying but they dried off and headed up the way we came when the weather eased off a bit. We played cards for a few hours then when the rain stopped we went to a peninsula to check out a light house. We nearly walked into a Sea Lion which was pretty funny luckily he didnt seem to bothered. We had rice, cheese and soup for tea then played cards with some American and Swiss guy. The hut was a few rooms with bunks and mattresses, a water tap outside, and a table and work top downstairs. Pretty basic but did the job. There were about 5 staying in the one on the first night.
The second day the weather brightened up and we left early because we had a long hike ahead. We had some baby-food breakfast and headed off. We walked from Whariwharangi hut to Bark Bay which was about 23.6km. It took about 10 hours but we did a little de-tour and chilled a little on the way. We walked around the coast so we'd go around a bay then up over the peninsula to the next bay. The beaches were amazing, usually it was just us on the beach. The sand was a gold colour and the sea was so clear it was amazing! We were really lucky that the weather had cleared up to because it made it even more stunning. We walked along one of the beaches and a seal swam maybe 10meters away from us along the beach! It was amazing! It was also amazing how one minute we would be walking up through dense green forest/rain forest then the next we'd be walking with boots off on a golden beach. I couldnt resist jumping in the sea so I had a swim at Goat Bay. We had to time our hike that we reached an esturay at low tide because we needed to wade over to the otherside, luckily we got there as people were just starting to wade over. We didnt see many people on our hike but there were a lot around the Esturay area. That night we had rice and soup again for tea and played cars with 3 germans. There were a lot more staying in that second hut in Bark Bay but it wasnt too crowded.
On the last day we had another long walk, we left at about 9am and had 23.1km to go. We did a couple of little detours to some pools in the river where I jumped in and to some viewing points. The weather was amazing again and we didnt need to be anywhere by a certain time so we took it a little more easier than the day before. Again we walked along some amazing beaches and bays, Torrent Bay being one of the most stunning. I again had a swim while we had lunch on one of the beaches. We got to Marahau, the little town and hostel about 5:30pm that evening. It was an amazing 3 days and one of the best things I have done in New Zealand. It was so peacefull and we were so lucky to have such amazing weather which made the scenery even more beautiful. I'm glad I asked Sabine to go with me, it was nice to have some company and someone to share the amazing views with!
It was a long last two days so when we got to the town I treated myself to a Mussel Burger (as in the seafood) which was pretty damn good! It was nice to sleep in a proper bed that night and not be in a room with 10 other people! The next morning I met the new Stray bus I would be travelling south with and Sabine went back to Nelson to carry on looking for a job and Wwoofing there.