Stunning South

20170303_133437Day 22  Nelson – Mapua 

After a bad night sleep at the freedom Campers spot, I got up early and went into the town of Nelson for a bit of a look around, Nice little town. While there I had a look in a few bike shops and decided I need a Mountain Bike. After loving my afternoon riding on the Queen Charlotte track a few days ago, with the Taste trail around Nelson and with so many tracks around the country, I just had to have one 😊. After looking at a few new bikes I found a second hand one that suited me, and cheaper than a new one. After buying this and a few bits to go with it, I was cycling down the road.

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This afternoon, now equipped with my bike, I decided to do the Tasman great taste trail, the Trail starts out in Nelson and goes all the way through to Kaiteriteri 70km away or the loop trail which is 174km. Along the way you can stop off and taste the areas fine wines, try out the latest craft beers or sample the local cuisine. Since its nearly midday and another nice day I decide to do the first section of the trail, from Nelson to Mapua, 33km away.

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The first part of the track takes me around the water front before I cut back in land and take an old railway corridor, then down past the airport and just before Richmond I take a turn and now follow the coast around until cross over onto Rabbit island. The island is mainly pine forest with a few tracks heading to the eastern side. When I arrive at the end of the track I take a little ferry 200m across the river to Mapua. Fantastic little area. When hoping off the ferry your greeted with a dozen or so, little craft shops and restaurants, a wine bar and brewery. Since I was on the taste trail and quite thirsty after my ride I had to sample some of the local beverages. First stop was the Golden Bear Brewery where I sampled a couple of their nice craft beers before heading just around the corner to the Rimu Wine bar to sip on their white wines, while waiting for the ferry back. Glad i wasnt driving back, I catch the 4pm ferry across the river and start the 33km journey back to Nelson. By now the wind had really picked up but lucky for me it was a tail wind for most of the way home and made it back in half the time it took me to get there.

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After getting back to the van, which I had left at the freedom camp place in Nelson I decided I didn’t want another night there and headed back to where I had just ridden to earlier, Mapua. A found a little camp ground and checked in for the night. Not knowing the camp was part nudists, all I can say it was an interesting few hours at the camp, fantastic sunset and an early night.

20170304_094256Day 23  Mapua – Kaiteriteri

After a good night sleep, I had to get up early and travel up to Kaiteriteri. This little town is close to the start of the Abel Tasman National Park and is where I will be catching one of the taxis that service the Able Tasman track. Today I plan to walk a section of the track from Torrent Bay up to Onetahuti, around a 4hr hike. After arriving at this magnificent golden sand beach town of Kaiteriteri I check in at Aquataxi, to find out I just missed the early taxi and the next one isn’t due to leave for another hour, but looking at this now busy little place I didn’t mind waiting around. The Taxi arrives and the skipper gives us a bit of history and what the plan is. The taxi doesn’t just take you from your start point to your destination, they give you a bit of a tour as well.

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First stop was Split Apple rock, quite a cool site, it’s a roundish looking rock that has slip in two, looking a bit like a split apple. It is just off the beach and you can get to it after a short walk from the carpark. Quite a popular photo shot. Next, we head over to Adele island where we get to see quite a few of the NZ fur seals, a couple of mothers basking in the sun and the cubs splashing around in the pools below, while a few are spotted feeding on the water’s edge.

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After a few photos, we head off to Anchorage and then on to Torrent Bay were ill start my trek. I’m the first and only one to get off at this nice secluded beach. As I head up the track, into the native bush I get a glimpse back at the golden sand beach and bright blue water of the coast. Before long there are a few other very picturesque beaches down below, Wire bridge over a crystal-clear river and then down to Sand fly bay before stopping off at Medlands beach. Really nice quiet golden sand beach with a little river running down the side, perfect place for Lunch. After a quick bite, to eat as I must make the afternoon ferry back, I carry on my way.

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This place is just stunning, I thought Queen Charlotte sound was nice (it really is) but this place just has that little bit extra with the really golden sand beaches (my pictures don’t do it justice). Can’t wait to see somewhere nicer as its going to be hard to beat, if there is anywhere. After passing a water fall and a few more nice beaches I get to Onetahuti Beach, my pick-up point for the afternoon. Another amazing place, just lay of the beach waiting for my taxi to arrive.

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After nearly falling asleep in the baking hot sun, the taxi arrives and we make our way back to Kaiteriteri. Once there I treat myself to a nice burger at the Gone Burger takeaway before heading off to a nice little freedom camp called W F Moss Scenic Reserve. Great little quiet spot on the edge of a stream. Perfect way to end the day, before another day of exploring tomorrow.

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