March 2, 2009

Discovering Marlborough: Finale

Picton was glowing in the glorious sunshine, we wandered for a while stopping to pick up a take away lunch. Onwards we drove towards our final holiday destination; Nelson. The road was an easy one and the views were amazing, made even better by the blue skies and the stunning array of white clouds.

On the way we stopped off at Happy Valley Adventures, which is the home of The Skywire, and many other activities such as quad biking and paint balling. Before we left home we had seen their website and watched a video of The Skywire in action. Of course Michael was up for that, I however wasn’t so sure!

Set on 1600 acres of farm land you are not short of amazing views and the owners not short of a story of two. We headed off into the bush up a steep incline road in a little mini van, on the way we stopped off to view Mareikura – the world’s oldest Matai tree which is apparently over 2000 years old. At the top the views were just breath taking, yet what was more breath taking and made my pulse race was the four seater Skywire. I really wasn’t sure about the whole thing at all, not being a fan of fast rides, heights or even things that move make me very nervous.

The Skywire is the longest flying fox in the world, set above native bushland you soar like a bird for over 3km, up to 150m above ground. As Michael and Bethany got strapped in (Michael especially pleased he had to wear pink socks!) I hesitated. Of course peer pressure got the best of me and in I climbed.

The video shows it all, but to be honest it was brilliant! The best bit was actually coming backwards – we reached 90kms at one point. I am glad I did it although not too sure I would again! Afterwards we headed back down to the farm where we got to feed some tame eels, feed the sheep and the million ducks they had. If you have a duck phobia this definitely isn’t the place to be with some bread in hand!

In the car I still felt a little sick but was looking forward to arriving at our Motel in Nelson for a few wines! In Nelson we were staying at a motel called Cedar Grove - and very nice it was too. Done out with the most lovely quality furniture, a separate bedroom, balcony and the best bit – a jacuzzi bath!

A quick unpack and we headed out into Nelson town centre to check it out. We had a lovely wander through the shopping streets and to the end where there is a magnificent bell tower, the view from the top to the ocean was lovely. We grabbed a take away that night and just headed back to chill out in the room and enjoy that lovely spa bath.

The next day we were up bright and early with the plan to head up to Kaiteriteri, stopping off of course along the way to take in some of natures most glorious sights. Kaiteriteri was a lovely little spot, the golden sandy beach was awesome and the views out to the vast ocean amazing. It was quite busy too, obviously very touristy with a hint of retirement location added on. After lunch in a lovely restaurant we headed on further to Marahau.

Marahau wasn’t really what we expected, very small with the odd walk here and there. We did find a gorgeous hand carving shop with the most amazing outdoor area where you could view the biggest pieces of work. We enjoyed a cuppa in the cafe opposite before heading back to Kaiteriteri.

We arrived back just in time to grab the last water taxi of the afternoon and head out round the bays to our swimming destination which was going to be Anchorage Bay. On the way we passed Split Apple Rock where we got to listen to many tales of what could of happened to create such a rock. After switching water taxi’s a little further on we finally arrived at our destination for the afternoon. We quickly took about wandering around the amazing rock formations, having a swim in the ocean, building sandcastles and looking for sea life. Such a beautiful place, the colour of the ocean, the golden beach, the warm(ish) water and the fact it rained whilst we waited to be picked up was well needed in such heat!

Back in Nelson we got ready for a night out. Of course not the usual standards we were once accustomed to considering we had Bethany with us, but we headed out to a lovely little place which we had passed the night before and was heaving called Cafe Affair. Here we enjoyed a few bottles of wine and a stonegrill meal – very nice too!

The next morning came earlier than it should after many bottles of wine but we knew we had to be up and sorted for our road trip back. But before we left Nelson we stopped off for one last visitor attraction, WOW – World of Wearable Arts. Anyone that knows anything about this place knows just how amazing it is. Year after year public shows are held (and sold out in hours if held here in Wellington) displaying some of the most wonderful clothes that have literally been made from anything, random household items have been turned into clothing – quite amazing!

Now the video you watch is my sneaky attempt at capturing the moments inside. Camera’s were a huge no no and so I had to be stealth like, sadly its isn’t the best but you kind of get the scene!

Attached to WOW was the classic car collection where we were free once again to take photos! It was very interesting but I walked round with the same highly uninterested face as Michael did walking round the clothes!!

We made it back to Picton and joined the queue of cars waiting to board our ship back. It worried us that boredom may get the better of us as it was the same ship as we travelled out on, but once aboard we booked to go see a movie in the cinema. We watched Bolt again, although Michael hadn’t seen it and we enjoyed it heaps.

Before getting on the ship we spotted the notice that said ‘moderate crossing’. Anyway, ‘moderate’ turned into throwing people around and many losing their boddily contents. The toilets bubbled and shot water out like some type of Geyser. Even Bethany, the strong stomached one was complaining of her food coming back up!! Luckily it was only for an hour right in the middle – and it was quite good fun really.

Our short break away was the most perfect break ever, we did so much in that small amount of time, things to be very proud of, moments we will cherish and remember forever. It makes it even more amazing to know that New Zealand, is now part of our lives forever and we can do it over and over again as many times as we want.

See the photos of all the fun by clicking here.

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