Farewell Spit & Picton

January 26, 2016

Alright! It’s my last night in Napier and therefore I am going to write my fifth and last post about my time in the South Island of New Zealand. This part of the trip we went to the longest natural sandbar in the world called the “Farewell Spit!” It is located on the top left hand side of the South Island. Most of the sandbar is inaccessible but it was still cool to visit.

Upon arriving, we found a random access point to the beach. We started walking and walking and walking… We weren’t too sure where we were going and to be honest, we really didn’t care. We arrived at sunset, which is my favorite time to take photos. As we walked along the deserted beach, we arrived to this sign pointing inland to another access beach. We had already left our shoes in the sand ways back so we went along this trail barefoot. Once again, we kept walking and walking, this time on some uncomfortable rocks. It wasn’t the easiest path to walk on but in the end it paid off! We arrived to a different beach with massive sand dunes all throughout. The sun was setting and it was a stunning atmosphere to pass time in. As the sun began to set we decided to hike back across the rocky way to find our sandals before settling down in Collingwood that evening. The woman at the hostel was, once again, extremely friendly and spent nearly a half hour checking us in as she was getting to know us.

Brittany and I had to leave Emma and Marsha the next day in time for Brittany’s flight home for Christmas. It was at the end of November and we caught the ferry up to Wellington in the North Island after six months in the South. We said our goodbyes and went back the same route as before. Along this route is a famous bar called the “Mussel Inn.” It was recommended to us as ‘the best pub in New Zealand” so we stopped by the day before along the way. The craft beer was dank and the mussel chowder was on point. Anyways, we continued onward until we reached Picton where we caught the ferry to the North Island. The ferry was full that day so we got a campsite that night and caught the ferry the next morning to Wellington!

Wellington ended up living up to its expectations. I have tons of photos to post about it next time but not too sure when that will be as we’re back on the road tomorrow living in our tent! Next time we “settle down” and have WiFi I can begin the North Island… I guess this is the end of the South Island! Thanks for reading along. 🙂

 

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Farewell Spit Sunset

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Farewell Spit Sunset

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Farewell Spit Sunset

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Farewell Spit Sunset

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Farewell Spit Sunset

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The sign where we went inland to the rocky path to the next beach.

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The unexpected long path.

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Onward we go!

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Then… THIS!

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Nice little walk on the sand dunes.

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Selfie with Emma!

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Oh hello up der!

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This beach was beautiful up in the Farewell Spit!

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The walk back to the car – Took some time!

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These trees made a nice little walk back to the car.

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Finally, we reached Picton! This is the Interislander Ferry which we took the next day form the South Island to Wellington in the North!

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I found Picton surprisingly beautiful! Definitely, not just a port town!

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We ate fish and chips here while simultaneously fending off sandflies!

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Picton.

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Our last sunset in the South Island.

 

Able Tasman National Park

January 25, 2016

Alrighty –I still have some of my favorite places coming up! Before leaving Nelson, we did a brewery tour around Nelson up through Golden Bay. It would have been rude not to after doing the winery tour the day prior. After Nelson we continued onward through Golden Bay towards Able Tasman National Park along top of the South Island. At this point last November, Brittany and I had only been on the road for about two weeks. We still slept only on our sleeping bags as cushion from the ground. After a month or so, I realized a blow up mattress was only about $16.00 so I grabbed one. Best decision ever. Luckily Warehouse, the Kiwi Walmart equivalent, will take anything back. Whenever it pops I take it back and swap it for a new one. We’ve done this for our tent too!

Leaving Nelson, we continued onward through Golden Bay going in and out of the tiny towns along the coast. There were lots of tie died everything as it tends to be the “hippie” area of New Zealand. You can tell, it’s definitely relaxed and care-free. We finally reached the famous Able Tasman National Park. This is one of New Zealand’s famous National Parks consisting of one of the “Great Walks.” It is a multi day hike throughout the national park. Unfortunately, Brittany had a flight out of Wellington a few days later so we were unable to do the hike. Emma and Marsha did however a few days later after we left. We made the best of our time and did some day hikes of instead.

Able Tasman National Park is lined with colorful sandy beaches and impressively blue water. We camped in the center of the park next to this gigantic hole in the ground where people can go cave dwelling. The night we arrived it was dark so we camped nearby and did the hike to the massive abyss come morning. On a side note, that morning consisted of those huge, massive bumble bees pestering us as we cooked breakfast. I told the girls that they were harmless and don’t tend to sting. Moments after the words came out of my mouth the bastard came up and stung me on my stomach for no reason! I didn’t see that one coming.

The big hole in the ground, was well, a big hole in the ground. You couldn’t really look too far over the ledge but we managed to get a couple peeks in before my fear of heights kicked in! Later that day we drove to some beaches. You can see that by the hoodie I am wearing it wasn’t quite yet warm enough to properly enjoy the beach. It was still nice though. This was in November and still technically Spring!

The park itself has most of its best points only accessible by the overnight hikes. There is a lot we didn’t get to see this time. I definitely would consider going back through when I eventually make my way back to Queenstown!

After this was the Farewell Spit, but I’ll save that for later!

Previous Posts of the New Zealand Road Trip:

Fox and Franz Joseph Glacier:

https://ontheloosejuice.com/2016/01/16/fox-and-franz-joseph-glacier/

Hokitika, Arthurs Pass & Christchurch
https://ontheloosejuice.com/2016/01/24/hokitika-arthurs-pass-christchurch/

Kaikoura & Nelson:

https://ontheloosejuice.com/2016/01/24/kaikoura-nelson/

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Able Tasman on the way to the hole – I should look up the name really to be honest.

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The girls getting way up to the sink hole.

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THIS – I was able to get this shot only bc I had my camera on a tripod – I set up a self timer and hung the camera over the ledge.

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It’s hard to get Brittany to smile for a pic – Any time I do, I consider it a succes.. Even if my face is blurry.

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Yep.

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Able Tasman National Park

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Able Tasman National Park

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Brit being emo.

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Doing the HAKA! or something else.

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I wanted to get on that boat.

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Able Tasman National Park.

 

Kaikoura & Nelson

January 24, 2016

Last November, after we left Christchurch we headed north towards Kaikoura, making our way towards the north of the South Island. Kaikoura is known for its diverse marine life of mainly whales, dolphins, sea lions and seals. The drive into the small town itself was a sight. The road followed the rocky beach line as it winded in and out around the coastal hills. Kaikoura itself was a small town and we drove to this lookout point shown below. The whale tours were way out of our budget and having seen lots in Australia, we decided to pass. We headed north and visited this waterfall with seals swimming in the streams and splashing in the waterfalls. They looked to have been quite enjoying themselves! They’re funny little creatures.

After Kaikoura we headed north to Sawcut Gorge. Emma and Marsha, our friends from Queenstown, were planning on meeting us there! It was really exciting because we hadn’t seen them since they left a month or so prior. Sawcut Gorge itself was quite a hike. I don’t have any photos of it because I didn’t bring my camera because it was a three hour hike along a rocky riverbed. I mistakenly wore my sandals and it was hard to cross the river with the slippery rocks with the current. I definitely slipped a handful of times. I was surprised by how many times we had to cross it in general. Once we got towards the end I saw Emma in the distance! It was a good sight and we swam in some of the bigger pools and did nothing for an hour or so. Emma ended up getting attacked by some eel that bit her a few times. Haha. It was a nasty looking thing.

After the Sawcut Gorge we headed north towards Nelson. We did a winery day and visited a handful of wineries in the Marlborough region and tried free wine and bought some bottles for ourselves later that night! It was a long day but a good one none the less. After the Marlborough wine tours we headed towards Nelson. Nelson is the start of the northernmost part of the South Island. It is the start of the area known as the Golden Bay. The Golden Bay is the hippie, sunny area of New Zealand. The vibe is extremely laid back and the people are really friendly, per usual. This area, the Golden Bay area is my favorite part of the South Island besides the Queenstown/Wanaka/Fiordland area. In the Golden Bay area we went to Able Tasman National Park and the Farewell Spit but that’s for another time!

 

Previous Posts of the New Zealand Road Trip:

Fox and Franz Joseph Glacier:
https://ontheloosejuice.com/…/…/fox-and-franz-joseph-glacier/

Hokitika, Arthurs Pass & Christchurch
https://ontheloosejuice.com/2016/01/24/hokitika-arthurs-pass-christchurch/

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On the way to Kaikoura!

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WOT?

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Kaikoura from the viewpoint.

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Some seals hanging out off the shore.

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What’re you looking at!?

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Yep

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Brit being photogenic 🙂

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Lot Scene!

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Typical New Zealand coastal road.

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NZ Coast

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haha I love this guy!

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Relaxing

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Moody

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Morning Lauuughzz

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Punk

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Campsite in Nelson

 

Hokitika, Arthurs Pass & Christchurch

January 20, 2016

HELLLLLO! Hope everyone is doing well! In case you missed the last post, I decided to separate the road trip into sections and post a few photos at at a time instead of dumping them all on you at once. Hmm.. Let’s see, so after the Fox and Franz Joseph Glacier, Brittany and I continued heading North along the West Coast of the South Island. The rain started to lighten up as we hit a little town called Hokitika. This was a little laid back town by the sea that had kind of a hippie vibe. It was really small and here we tried the famous “white bait” sandwich that we kept reading about. We were a little apprehensive about the cost as it was $12.50 for one sandwich, but, when in Rome.. so we ordered it and took a seat with our coffee. As we watched the sleepy town pass by we suddenly were greeted with our breakfast. I wasn’t sure what to expect but as I looked down, to our surprise was two pieces of regular bread with what looked like thin egg omelet inside. No sauce, nothing. Upon inspecting the egg searching for the white bait part we noticed a thing white spirally thing cooked inside the omelet. I guess this was the white bait portion? We took a bite and looked at each other thinking “what the hell?” It was extremely anticlimactic! Haha So we got some Sriracha sauce from the car and tried to flavor it up a little! Oh well, we tried!

After the tasteless sandwich we went to check out the little town. It had a unique feeling about it, It was small and most places were independently owned shops with handmade signs outisde. There were a lot of green stone jewelry stores. In New Zealand, it’s custom to wear a green stone around your neck or to have it in your pocket during the day. There is a catch, you’re not allowed to buy it for yourself, they must be a gift! Andy got me one as a present before I left which I still have around my neck. I love it. Brittany also received one from a friend and wanted to turn it into a necklace. We stopped in a store to ask a woman if she could help. She told us she couldn’t and told us where to go down the road. Of course, in Kiwi fashion, she then spoke to us for a good 15 minutes asking about our travels and sharing hers with us. She was really interested and engaging even though she knew we weren’t going to buy anything. After our chat with her, we set out to find the other store to make Brittany’s necklace. When we found the place the guy told Brit that he could help but that she had to drill the hole in the stone herself! I think it was a traditional gesture because he was the kindest old man. He set up all the tools and then let Brittney drill away! Luckily she didn’t mess up and left with the stone around her neck as a necklace. The guy had a really calming characteristic around him. We said that he reminded us of an old Morgan Freeman! Hah! Afterwards, we checked out the beach before continuing onward.

After Hokitika, we cut inland away from the West Coast heading East. We crossed over Arthurs Pass which is supposed to have great hikes. When we got there it was raining buckets again and upon seeing that Christchurch was a quick drive away, we continued onwards and skipped it all together. We kept forgetting how small New Zealand is.. I think we got to Christchurch in 4 days when we anticipated 7 or 8! We drove from the West Coast to the East in mere hours. We stopped a couple places on the way once the rain subdued. We found this epic campsite tucked deep into the valley and said one day we would throw a huge party there! Not sure if that will actually happen, but the idea was nice. We also did a little hike around these caves and saw people all decked out going into and coming out of the cave itself. After the few pit stops we headed our way to Christchurch.

Christchurch is the biggest city in the South Island. On February 22, 2011 it was struck with a devastating earthquake. The entire downtown CBD area was hit and it is still being rebuilt to this date. It’s shocking to see the extensive damage that you can still see 5 years later. Furthermore, I can’t imagine having this happen to the city I grew up in. In a matter of minutes, most of the buildings are either destroyed or damaged to a point where it’s unsafe for people to return. I saw many sites where old buildings were still standing yet no one allowed inside. I assume they will get around to knocking them down and rebuilding them in time. What was really impressive about this city was how I perceived the peoples reactions to such a hard time. The city center is filled with different artwork and colorful additions to brighten up the town. I like how the city turned it into something beautiful and didn’t just roll over and give up. I respect that.

In Christchurch, we met up Poppy, an old Coronet Peak workmate. Poppy grew up there so she took us on a little tour of the city! It was nice to hear stories from someone who actually grew up there and experienced the entire ordeal. Her passion (and just her overall amazing, bubbly personality) helped me see Christchurch from a different angle. I am really thankful for that and just in general her being in my life, she’s awesome! Reuniting with old friends didn’t just stop with Poppy, we stayed with a handful of old friends from Queenstown who have since moved to Christchurch! It was a GREAT reunion and even though they had a bed for us, we fell asleep watching TV on the couch every night. There is something special about falling asleep watching TV with your mates because neither one of you want to go to bed and end the day! Special thanks to Lloyd, Dan, Chiara and Sammy for the hospitality! It was a nice three nights to regroup before returning back to tent life! I also met up with Bex, who I met my last time I was in Christchurch! Talk about back to back reunions!

After Christchurch is was up the East Coast of the South Island.. but lets save that for another time. wink emoticon

Previous Posts of the New Zealand Road Trip:

Fox and Franz Joseph Glacier:
https://ontheloosejuice.com/…/…/fox-and-franz-joseph-glacier/

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She didn’t know I had my camera on a self timer and was gonna jump in the frame!

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Brit sitting waiting for me to come with a coupe beers! 🙂

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Serenity on the West Coast

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The clouds on the West Coat before we arrived to Hokitika.

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Arthur’s Pass

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This is I believe at the campsite we found where we will throw our future hypothetical party!

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Botanical Gardens in Christchurch

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I liked this little arch of flowers in Christchurch Botanical Gardens

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Botanical Gardens Christchurch

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Christchurch

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Here is one of the famous churches that was hit by the earthquake.

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Here is where you can start to see the artwork seen throughout Christchurch!

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Street Art

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Art in Christchurch – I don’t think you are allowed in any of those three buildings in the frame, I could be mistaken though.

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Christchurch

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Random Pot Garden in Christchurch

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Christchurch

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Containers were seen throughout the town as well, this was in an effort to preserve parts of old buildings. You can see the face of the building here being held up by the containers.

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Day!

January 18, 2016

Happy Martin Luther King Day!! I don’t have words for this man.. His contribution and impact on our lifetime is something I’ll always be grateful for. He is a staple of what true bravery and standing up for what you believe in can actually accomplish. Let’s hope we have more like him in the future in regards to discrimination towards others groups of religion, class, race and sexual orientation & identifications. But for today, let’s take time and appreciate all progress the King has done since his monumental time on this Earth. 🙂

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