BootsnAll Travel Network



Of Split Apples and Cracked Lenses

New Zealand (South Island) Oct 27-30
After a 3 ½ hour ferry ride we landed in Picton on the South Island and ended up spending the night in a miniscule cabin at a local holiday park. After checking out of our shipping container the next morning, we decided that hostels offered much better value for money and swore off holiday parks for a while. Before heading west to Abel Tasman National Park, we wanted to enjoy the beauty of Queen Charlotte Sound and hiked out to the end of the Snout (much prettier than it sounds).

From New Zealand (…

Next, it was off to Motueka which would be our jumping off point for Abel Tasman. If possible, the South Island’s coastal roads are even windier than the North Island’s but the astounding views more than made up for a little car sickness (although I’m not sure if Simon would concur).

In Motueka, we checked into Hat Trick Lodge, easily the best hostel we’ve stayed in on our entire trip. It’s a spotlessly clean, two year old hostel with amazingly friendly, knowledgeable owners, Liz and Chris, who went out of their way to ensure we were comfortable and helped to book our activities in the area. After spending three nights there, we felt like we’d made new friends and were actually sad to leave. To top it all off, our room was like a mini hotel suite with our own kitchen and ensuite bathroom for only $71NZ per night. Unfortunately, the rain had followed us from the North Island and we had to hold off on our hike for another day. Instead, we decided to go underground and visited Ngarua Cave where we got as wet as if we’d been outside but got to see some cool stalactites and stalagmites as well as a perfectly preserved moa skeleton.

From New Zealand (…
From New Zealand (…

The next morning dawned bright and sunny and we were excited as we boarded our water taxi which gave us a tour of the gorgeous coastline, including Split Apple Rock, before dropping us deep in the park to hike back to a prearranged pick-up point.

From New Zealand (…
From New Zealand (…

Unfortunately, we also managed to whack our brand new digital camera against the boat while disembarking and cracked the LCD screen (it still works – we just have to take photos the old fashioned way with the viewfinder). On our hike we had to cross a long suspension bridge and Claude, ever the child, decided to jump up and down on it while Alexa was crossing; she was so mad she wouldn’t speak to him for over an hour.

From New Zealand (…

When we finally reached Bark Bay,

From New Zealand (…

Claude decided he hadn’t had enough and ran the remaining 15km out of the park while I waited for our water taxi on the beach with the kids. The crazy fool was actually relaxing and having a beer by the time we showed up at the entrance of the park to pick him up.

To see the rest of our photos of our adventures in the South Island, go to our web album.



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