Friday, 13 January 2012

Nelson

Hey everyone, I have just got back from a very jam packed four days away on the South Island. I headed to a place called Nelson A coastal town, at the top of the South Island.

I have decided that when work and money allow I am going to try and get away from Wellington and see different areas of New Zealand. I had a tag along with me on this trip, in the form of Laura a lovely girl from work. She is also from England. She has been in New Zealand for about a month and a half and has not yet been down to the south Island or ever stayed in a hostel. So I invited her along, thinking three days away is the perfect amount of time for your first trip living out of a back pack and sharing a room with other people.

We were both working on the Sunday morning before we left, so we had a very rushed few hours ensuring we were out of work by 1pm in order to be at the ferry terminal for twenty past one. It was a little touch and go but we made it...
Day One - Sunday 8th January
About to be blown off the ferry, arghh!!!
The weather on Sunday 8th was awful we had, had constant rain, for the last two days and it was beginning to worry me. 'What if it's going to be like this all the time? Argh I have some one else to entertain as well as me, and rain at the coast is never the best mix.'

As well as making me worry about what we where going to do in Nelson it also made my first ferry crossing in New Zealand a rather rough and uncomfortable journey. With me wanting to sleep through the majority of the journey in order to stop the sea sickness taking full hold of me. Unfortunately this was not the case for Laura who did not seem effected by the rough sea that day and wanted to chat the whole way over. In the end I think she got the message that I was fast asleep. (Sorry Laura. Don't worry though everyone, I manage to talk for the majority of the rest of the trip)
Meet Laura!!

When you get off teh ferry in the South Island you are in a small town called Picton. We did not spend any time in the town at this time, hopping off the ferry onto the coach to Nelson as soon as we arrived. The bus drive was really pretty even in the rain. With the rain surprisingly clearing as we got closer and closer to Nelson. We got talking to an American on the bus who was in New Zealand for just over a month, he did not have any where lined up to stay in nelson so asked if he could tag along with us to our hostel and see if they had rooms. I think Laura found this a little bit odd that someone was that forward and would just tag along. When we arrived at our hostel however the hostel was fully booked. The American was quite rude towards the receptionist and showed a different side to himself, so I was quite thankful that he could not get a bed in the end as well. The receptionist was very helpful though and phoned around a couple of other hostels in order to find him a place with a bed.
 

We had arrived in Nelson at 9.30pm so decided to quickly dump our stuff and go out, get our bearings and find somewhere to eat. It ended up being a surprisingly warm, dry evening a perfect evening to explore. We ended up finding a nice bar selling a huge range of locally brewed beers and ciders. After a couple of drinks we headed back to the hostel, had a final drink in the hostel bar which was a little bit deserted by this point what with it being a Sunday night. Then headed up stairs to our room. 

Now if any of you have stayed in a hostel before you know that when arriving back to room with everyone else in bed is like a stealth operation. Trying to be as quiet as possible,get your stuff make it to the bathroom and climb into your bed without being shhhhhhsed. Normally I am fairly good at this, but this night I was useless. The bed I had picked had been taken by someone else when we where out. With my stuff being moved to a new bed, what with it being dark we could not find my new bed or my stuff. Mix trying to be quiet with this little drama unfolding and a couple of beers in us and you end up with two very giddy people. We managed to find my things in the end, I'm sure we annoyed the whole dorm along the way but seriously who moves someone elses stuff to another bed, ODD. 

Day two - Monday 9th January
Walking to the beach.
We had made no plans for our first full day, waiting to see how the weather turned out. I fancied a day of relaxing and chilling out after along busy weekend at work. I had been told the beach in Nelson was worth a visit and also the art and craft galleries. After a quick visit to the I-Site we figured this would be a good thing to do with our first day. However we did not realise that the beach was such a long walk away from the centre of Nelson. I did not find this to be a very nice walk and if I go back to Nelson again I would probably get the bus. The time on the beach was good, a chance to work on our tans. Although Laura and I ended up more red than tanned ooops.

It may look over cast but this sun was lethal.
 
How come when you burn yourself people feel the need to say 'oooo caught the sun today'. I only managed to burn my legs this time but poor Laura caught the sun badly on her face. She certainly had her fair share of people commenting on her sun burn. In the evening of our second day both of us were fairly shattered so decide to have a fairly quiet evening. We made a yummy pasta dish, then decided to go out for one drink inviting a Swiss guy who was staying in our room and travelling alone to join us. I always enjoy meeting people from other countries and finding out what they are up to and where they have been. After our drink we were all ready to head back to the hostel, slap on some more sun lotion and just chill out.  Laura and I took advantage of the lovely little balcony at the front of the hostel and the cool breeze outside.
Relaxing on the balcony, its a bit hard with the flash but check out my burnt legs woops.
A memento for Laura, in her first ever hostel dorm room.

Day three - Tuesday 10th January

On Tuesday we had a day of perfect weather, After a bit of a slow start (because we are on holiday at the end of the day) and a nice breakfast taking advantage of the fresh bread and tea and coffee provided by the hostel. A very nice touch. We decided to go on a hike to the centre of New Zealand. This is a nice little walk up to a lovely look out point. We did it a little bit backwards walking the steepest part first when most people seem to do this on the way down. We had good reason for this however as we wanted to go for a swim on the way down in the river figuring we would want to cool off.

The walk is called the centre of new Zealand based on it supposedly being where latitude and longitude meet. I don't this is not true, but it was a good walk and we got some amazing pictures.

At the start of the Walk.
We made it to the top.

Famous New Zealand Sheep
Is it really the middle????
Not quite sure why I am sticking out my stomach on this photo, hmmm. need to work on my pose.
I feel like a little bug in this photograph, hehe.


Strike a pose, :)
On the way back down to Nelson we had a quick dip in the river, it was a little bit chilly still but that was perfect on our sun burn. I really enjoyed swimming in the river. Whenever I see a river when I am travelling around I always want to go in for a quick dip, it must be something to do with when I was younger and summer holidays playing around at a place called White Coppice in Lancashire. 

Never too old to climb a tree!
Once we got back to Nelson. We went to the museum before splitting off and exploring Nelson separately. I always feel it is important when travelling with someone else to have some alone time, particularly someone you don't know really well as spending all your time with them can get hard work. Even if its just half an hour where you can grab a coffee, go to some shops or just sit and read a book, its nice to have a bit of quiet , me time. I enjoyed wandering around Nelson exploring the shops especially the small art galleries.
Nelson High street.
When we got back together Laura and I had plenty to catch up on in our hour and half apart hehe, We decided to head out find some food and experience Nelsons night life, Finding a bar selling two for $10 cocktails amazing!!
Day Four - Wednesday 11th January
On our last day we had to make a quick mad dash for the bus at 9.45 to get to Picton. Unfortunately we had only ended up getting back in at 1am and Laura was feeling slightly worse for wear, woops. Not the most pleasant bus ride back to Picton for Laura. When we arrived at Picton we had 5 hrs to kill before our ferry, but the sun was on our side so a perfect day to explore. We dumped our bags at the terminal for two dollars for six hours (bargain) and then went in search of food, finding the best full English Breakfast since I have been here the perfect cure for a hangover.

We then had a wander around the shops and then decided to go out on a little sea boat tour. Unfortunately we got there as the boast was pulling out. We did manage to get on a water taxi though that was going for a long drive around the bay and then picking some people. Perfect!

Just a perfect moment!!!
It was good fun, we had the boat to ourselves for about an hour and saw some amazing scenes on the way. The boat trip took about an hour and a half. And gave me an amazing idea for something to do next time I head over a walk along the hills which takes about 5/ 6hrs and then picked up by the water taxi, perfect (looking forward to it all ready)

We arrived back with time to grab some dinner before heading back on the ferry to Wellington. The ferry crossing was stunning this time around particularly leaving the South Island and going through the fabulous Queen Charlotte Sound.

Watching our ferry come in.
Queen Charlotte Sounds.
Tired and exausted, but a fun trip!!
Thanks for reading,

Katie,.x.x.

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