The article comes a bit late, we are so busy during this trip! This was the first few days of our trip on the South Island: from 23rd to 27th of January.
We went on the ferry from Wellington to Picton during the afternoon, that we can enjoy the view in the Queen Charlotte sound. The weather was beautiful, the landscape as well!
The Queen Charlotte Sound
We found a really pretty free campground on the eat coast, on a really nice beach at Robin’s bay. There were a few locals there, having a camping week end. They went to collect Paua on the rocks, and shared it with us once grilled and salted because they had too much. It was really nice, especially knowing the price of Paua in a shop (about $100 per kilo!). Even though see food is not our favorite, the Paua is not too weird to eat!
Robin’s hood bay
The road from Picton to Nelson was stunning above all the sounds.
Unfortunately we did not stop in Havelock (the green mussels capital) to try some green mussels because neither of us is a fond of sea food… I feel a little bit ashamed of it when we could have see food easily! Well, it might change one day.
We went to the north, and drove through the Takaka hills, which are windy and steep roads, but the only way to go to the north.
Tasman bay from Takaka hills
We found another campground down the valley, unfortunately it was our first real experience with sandflies… Almost impossible to cook without 50 of them ending up in the mashed potatoes (making our proteins though) or to breathe them, having them in our ears, inside the sleeves of the long sleeves T-shirts… Terrible!! Well, we ate really fast, packed everything and rushed into the car for the night. And it took us a while to kill them inside the car… and eventually it was alright! Well, we have been bitten like hell by these small vampires… itching everywhere!
But we shouldn’t complain, the sandflies are part of the life here, we have to get used to them. I would have killed everybody who said that to me the first 2 weeks down here. I was angry and my legs and hands were so itchy!! Now it is a little bit better, with a proper repellent that the sandflies don’t land on us. But it doesn’t chase them! they are still around, and we ate quite a bunch of them… well, instead of see food, we started eating insects!! Haha. It is better to laugh about this than cry…
The trip is great, and allows us to have breakfast and lunch where we feel like it! On the beach, in the sun, in the forest, on a table, in the car when it rains (so cold muesli), at any time we like! No rules, no obligations, it is freedom!
Breakfast at sunny Pohara beach!
We went to Totaranui, in the Abel Tasman National Park. We did a loop walk on the north of the National Park, it was really hot, but that was a clear day and we were happy to have the views all around us.
The track went up and down through bushes, through high trees forest, along white sand beaches, above cliffs… all of this with the cicadas in our ears (so loud!!) … and physically as well! These crazy insects were flying around us and bumping into us all the time.
You can listen to them here:
At the end of this exhausting day, we went to wash ourselves in the Takaka River, just below the Pupu Springs. We slept in the rest area near the road, and in the morning we had a look at the Pupu springs, the clearest spring in the world… it looked nice to have a dip in there, but unfortunately it was not allowed…
The clear Pupu Springs
Then we headed north… you will know about it in the next article!