Friday, January 29, 2016

Nelson City

Nelson itself also had quite a lot to do. We stopped at a little fruit and veggie store on our walk downtown and I picked up blueberries and peaches. The Saturday market had a surprisingly large number of vendors, and I found some art and a book to buy. I also picked up a carton of fresh strawberries while D picked up a delicious garlic sourdough loaf.

There was some nice architecture and a very weird store window that I took a picture of. You find the weirdest things out and about sometimes.

The Nelson Provincial Museum was small but good. I really enjoyed the Women of WWI exhibit which featured a whole room full of mannequins dressed up in styles of the time. But what was interesting was the stories on all of these amazing women who pushed and persevered to serve their country and those in need during the turbulent war years and beyond. It really inspired me.

not that long ago, when Britain still ruled the world...

Nelson's cathedral

weird shop window with bat iphone things and a baby horde

Ngarua Caves

The Ngarua Caves are just outside of Abel Tasman National Park and the tour was well worth it! We went down into the dry cave which has all sorts of beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and other water-created formations. The guide told us about how the moa and kiwi bones were from creatures unfortunate enough to fall into a pothole and remain trapped in a cave with no vegetation or food sources. It reminded me of a Gothic cathedral. At the end, she turned off all the lights so we could experience pitch black (which is hard to do anywhere nowadays). This was an unexpected highlight of our trip!

moa bones

kiwi bones

these are the straw stalactites, and they totally do look like straws

this one is a large calcium stalactite with people's signatures

Friday, January 22, 2016

Abel Tasman National Park - Coast Walk

On our second day in Abel Tasman National Park, we took the famous coast walk on a hot, sunny day. I enjoyed the bird life, a few blackberries, and taking off my shoes for a little wade into the water, although the sandflies managed to get a few bites in without me realizing until later. By the time we turned around, the tide had come in and the horseback riders had finished their ride along the sandbar. It felt more like Hawaii than the cold, windy New Zealand we are accustomed to, so this was a nice change of experience.

thought this looked like a mummified foot

not yet ripe blackberries

pukeko sighting!

quail on the lookout

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Abel Tasman National Park - Harwoods Hole and Wainui Falls

The drive from Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park is fairly manageable, although we weren't always sure our car would be able to make it up the hills. Our first hike was at Harwoods Hole Track which leads to the deepest vertical shaft in New Zealand. Unfortunately when you get to the end of the track to see the hole, it is covered by bushes and rocks so you have to envision what you saw on the website. Some people are crazy enough to descend down there with ropes, but we enjoyed the rock formations and headed back, using the walk to brainstorm entrepreneurial ideas post-graduation. It's amazing the insights you can have while out and about in nature not being stressed. Later in the day we hiked to Wainui Falls, which is a big and loud waterfall.

Harwoods Hole
Rock above Harwoods Hole
I've never seen leaves like this before


isn't this the sweetest little mushroom?!

Awesome grooved rock formation

Cool roots

View opposite the start of the Harwoods Hole Track
Wainui Falls