For the first time on this journey, other than an enforced stay back at Leithfield while we sold the house, we found ourselves in one place for more than a few weeks. Our original intention had been to spend five weeks based at Kaiteriteri where, in the middle of summer it is completely packed with people, but at this time of year was almost deserted.....bliss. In fact, it was so idyllic in this area that we stayed an extra two weeks before heading back across country and Whites Bay.
Walking around the immediate area was really nice with views out across the bays as we followed the tracks south of Kaiteriteri. A short drive and we were at the start of the Abel Tasman enjoying a number of walks with two standout memories. The first was a 25km walk to Anchorage and back. This was memorable not only because it was a beautiful day walking along a track through the native bush that suddenly opens up to grand vistas across the Abel Tasman, but, also because I developed some serious blisters on both feet before we were even half way....ouch! The second memorable walk was only 12km's this time out to Apple Tree Bay and back. We were on the track nice and early so were able to spend the entire afternoon just lazing on the sand watching as other tourists meandered by.
One thing you can't do when heading up the South Island is get this far without heading over the Takaka Hill and into Takaka town. What a wonderful laid back and quirky place this town is, brings out the alternative side in anyone that visits! From there we carried on up the island all the way to Wharariki Beach and Farewell Spit. This is an area that, when we return to the South Island from our impending visit to the North Island, we will definitely come back and explore. Whararaki has the most amazing caves and landscapes that just need time to really enjoy and explore the light.
This area north of Nelson and Motueka is also famous for its vines, both grape and hops so a number of visits were made to establishments serving really, really nice craft beer.