Nelson & Abel Tasman National Park

Nelson Travel Blog

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Tony and Margaret, our hosts, with their friends Val and Bill

We arrived in Nelson early evening and wnet to visit Tony and Margaret, our friend Noddy's parents. They made us feel extremely welcome and offered us a place to stay as well as lots of useful information about the region. The next day we set off to Abel Tasman National Park. Stopping in Marahau, we went for a tramp (that's kiwi for a walk) from there, along the coast line, through the forest and after 11.5 kms ending up at Anchorage Bay. We stayed on the golden beach for while, before taking the watertaxi back to Marahau.

We continued on further in the afternoon, towards the town of Takaka. Before dinner we visited Pupu Springs, just outside town. The spring has very clear water and is of a constant temperature of 11.

The beautiful view from Tony and Margaret's appartment in Nelson Marina
7 degrees and bubbles up through the sands. Due to water pest control noone is allowed to come in contact with the water nowadays, but Margaret and Tony were saying that they used to go swimming there when the kids were young.

We camped on a beautiful site along the river and in the morning we had a wander round Takaka in the morning, where they were having a market. It is a very 'hippie' town, with lots of arts and crafts and organic caf├ęs. Before lunch we went over to Pohara in the Golden Bay to sunbathe for a little while and then started making our way back towards Nelson. 

Nelson has a Saturday market in town, so we we went for a stroll and bought some lovely fresh produce in the morning before packing up our things in the afternoon and moving on to Havelock. On the way there, we realised we had forgotten to fill up with diesel and didn't have enough to make it all the way to Picton, from where we were taking the ferry at 5:45 the following morning.

James gingerly eating mussels before discovery...
All petrol stations on the way to and in Havelock, were closed at this time on a Saturday afternoon so we had to continue on fumes half an hour towards Picton to sweet talk the local petrol station to open up especially for us. Phew!

As Havelock is the Green Lipped Mussel capital of the world, we turned around and went back for dinner. We had a very lovely bowl of mussel chowder and a pot of steamed mussels. As Cecilia has just finished the last of the somewhat tough mussels, she noticed some tiny larvae wriggling around on the shell. Gross! The owner was very appologetic, not charging us for our meal and also giving us a complimentary dessert. She also demanded her supplier to come and check through her entire stock. Luckily we weren't ill, but the thought of it still made us feel a bit sick.

We got up very early in the morning to get the ferry to Wellington and the North Island, catching the sunrise in the Marlborough Sounds on the way.    


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Tony and Margaret, our hosts, with…
Tony and Margaret, our hosts, wit…
The beautiful view from Tony and M…
The beautiful view from Tony and …
James gingerly eating mussels befo…
James gingerly eating mussels bef…
A secluded cove at Anchorage Bay
A secluded cove at Anchorage Bay
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Sunrise on the Interislander ferry
Sunrise on the Interislander ferry
photo by: wendybodenmann