After disembarking the ferry in Picton, we drove a wee 30 minutes more to another Top 10 campground to refresh our tanks and take care of the eau d’toilet situation. We had heaps of laundry to do, and lucky for us on this plus 30 degree day we could play in the refreshing pool while we waited for the loads to spin.
The next morning we drove down to the town of Nelson, which is famous for its coffee, and its “lifestyle” which we are guessing means that its close to an abundance of great outdoor activities. The town wasn’t anything super special from what we experienced, but worth a wander for some hippie lunch at a vegan coffee shop, and a pause at some green space to let Zo chase Ry while she played “run a single piece of rubbish to the can” AKA some pre-drive exercise. Because we decided after visiting the i-site that we should head back north to Kaiteriteri and the Abel Tasman National Park to see some natural beauty.
Once there, we camped directly across a quiet road from a gorgeous, silky soft, brown sugar coloured beach with pristine, clear-to-the-bottom deep blue sea. With not a ripple in the water from dusk till dawn, you’d never guess it was ocean at all. The water temp was even pleasant.
We met a lovely couple from Christchurch (after Zo broke the ice doing her goofy move of refusing to touch her feet in the sand when you plopped her down), and they offered to not only loan us their double sea kayak, but to also take us out in their motorboat for a cruise of the islands. Such a generous offer, we could not refuse.
The next day we set out with them to take a few glimpses of the Abel Tasman and its surrounding sea, unique looking islands, and wildlife. Ry was keen to feed the fish, Zo was happy with the engine noise, and we enjoyed the lovely view of the surrounding bays. I think kayaking on a tour would have been an amazing way to explore the area, but most tour companies wouldn’t allow our short legged humans, and their patience would never allow the time it would take. Next time maybe! That afternoon we enjoyed the lovely beach and a sunny warm day.
On our final day here we found a wee trail quite aptly named Withell’s walk. It was only about 30 minutes to do the loop right from the campground and it provided a perfect view of the bay from the top. From there we headed to the beach with our loaned kayak and took the girls for a spin around the same bay. It was enjoyable and a success as no one (even Zo) attempted to jump out of the boat. In the afternoon dad took nap duty while I got to spend some quality time with Ry at the beach. We even managed to spend a “nice” family dinner out at the Shoreline Cafe overlooking the beach, and once again experienced the rare phenomenon of “give children food, have peaceful dinner”!