South Island of New Zealand
I arrived yesterday morning to Nelson from Auckland. I had booked a car with Budget but did not manage to hire it in the end as they did not accept my debit cards nor cash, so I ended by renting with New Zealand – Rent A Car, which turned out to be even cheaper! And off I go! After a short stop in Nelson I started driving North towards Motueka and then across the famous Abel Tasman National Park, famous for the Great Hike but also for being part of “The Lord of the Rings”.
Abel Tasman National Park
Pictures are not even close to being representative of the amazingness I have seen along the way.
North from the Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most beautiful bays I have seen so far. It takes its name from the fact that it is basically hit by sunlight all day(light)time! Indeed, it is on the East coast but the West Coast is only a few Km away!
My first stop was the famous Mussel’s Inn, mentioned by the Lonely Planet but more importantly by my friend Ruby! I could not taste the beers they had since I had still some driving to do before reaching the place where I slept, but I could not resist having one of their cakes. The place is particularly famous for the pies and for live music too. Anyway, it has a very nice vibe, I have to say. With locals and travelers hanging around.
Budget Accommodation in the South Island New Zealand
It is pretty easy to find budget accommodations in New Zealand. If you want a cheap option, you can book through Airbnb using this link and you will get a discount for your accommodation in New Zealand! Also, booking.com can be a cheap option for you! Check it out! The place where I stayed it was so beautiful and really cheap! Again, follow the link to get a special discount!
View over the Golden Bay at sunset and dawn
The very North of the South
There are several hikes north from Collingwood that you can do. This area is particularly interesting because it is far less crowded than the rest! Apparently, not so many people want to be bothered to go that much North! These pictures are taken basically on the two shores of the same spot: the East and the West. It was incredibly beautiful because it was still early in the day and not many people were around. I literally did the walk to Cape Farewell and to Wharaiki Beach together with cows and sheep! Wharaiki Beach was tremendously interesting, with several meters of dunes before reaching the sea! Also, on the way back, I really appreciated having a coffee among the trees!
I decided I will start a list of places where I would live. Well, this area is definitely going to be in there!
Takaka and on the way to Reefton
On the way back, I spent an hour in Takaka, which has a small but very useful library, cute shops and cute cafes. Also, this place appears to be the Byron Bay of New Zealand, with lots of hippies and street musicians everywhere.
From there, I crossed the Abel Tasman National Park again, with its stunning views, and then turned right to follow a minor street passing by Tapawera and then took the highway 6 again towards South-West and then the 69 towards Greymouth, but I diverted to Reefton where I stayed for the night. I was almost alone on this minor street for almost all the way! I stopped to a river called Rocky River