Nelson ...... rowing gently down south.

Nelson Travel Blog

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From Wellington to Picton

Nelson is my first stop on the South Island. We took the ferry from Wellington to Picton. The water here can be very choppy but the sea was very calm. The boattrip takes about three hours. The area around Picton is called Malborough Sound. This region is famous for its wine and hiking tracks (in New Zealand called tramping). The differences between the north and south islands are remarkable. The North Island has many hills shaped by volcanoes. The South Island has mountains, many tops still covered in snow. It looks a little bit like Switzerland. The mountains are created by landmass pushing against each other. It's an awesome sight to see the South Island. It got me all excited and I can't wait to explore the South Island.

Wine tasting

Before we reached Nelson, we went on a wine tasting tour. Just for NZ$2 we drank several different wines from this region: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. My preference is the Sauvignon Blanc. Very nice and easy to drink.

Nelson is a relatively big city (population: 43,500 inhabitants) in New Zealand. It's an artsy town with surprisingly lots of Asian influences (Bhuddist centres, yoga studios, Asian artifacts, etc.). In all honesty, I don't really like Nelson. There is nothing to do here. There is a museum that didn't excite me. A funny thing though is that Nelson is the centre of New Zealand and they have marked the exact centre of this country. Nelson is also the place where many people stay when they go to the Abel Tasman National Park .

Sea kayaking
..... and I'm one of them.

The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's most visited national park. There are many walks through this park. The most famous walk here is the Abel Tasman Coast Track (51km). What you will see in this park are golden beaches, forests, numerous bays and gleaming azure water. Next to this park there's another park called Kahurangi National Park, where you can walk the Heaphy Track (82km). How great these tracks may sound, I didn't do any of these Great Walks, because I've planned to explore this park on a different way.

There are several sea-kayaking operators around Nelson. I did a one-day kayaking trip with Kaiteriteri Kayak. The tour was about 18km along the coast of the Abel Tasman National Park. The group was small, just seven people and two guides.

Split Apple Rock is nice!
We paddled in double kayaks which makes the kayak very stable, but the sea was quite calm anyways. We went to Bark Bay by a watertaxi and had to paddle back where the watertaxi picked us up (Kaiteriteri Beach). We explored lagoons, saw many seals and one of New Zealand's most expensive house and of course the famous Split Apple Rock. We have been paddling for about five hours. I thought I would be very tired but I wasn't. No soaring muscles aches or anything. Really good! I really enjoyed sea-kayaking and would recommend everyone to do this kayaking trip.

One more thing. The guide of the sea-kayaking tour told us that a couple days before they have seen Orca's (Killer Whales) swimming by. I thought "yeah right, they only say that to attract customers". Well, I was wrong. I've met the people who have seen the Orca's. The Orca's were swimming just twenty metres from them! The pictures they have shown me are gorgeous! They also had pictures of dolphins which they also have seen during their sea-kayaking trip!

Next destination: Westport

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From Wellington to Picton
From Wellington to Picton
Wine tasting
Wine tasting
Sea kayaking
Sea kayaking
Split Apple Rock is nice!
Split Apple Rock is nice!
Centre of New Zealand
Centre of New Zealand
Me and kayaking buddy Jessica
Me and kayaking buddy Jessica
A lagoon where we stopped for lunch
A lagoon where we stopped for lunch
Split Apple Rock
Split Apple Rock
The kayaking team!
The kayaking team!
Seal laying in the sun
Seal laying in the sun
Nelson
photo by: wendybodenmann