I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday 8 March 2024

The BIG One - New Zealand - Days 23, 24 and 25

 Friday 23rd February - Kaiteriteri

We left Blenheim for Nelson but stopped in a town called Renwick for a photo.  I was a Renwick before I married Richard and Robert and his family are Renwicks.

Next it was Peanut Butter World in Nelson, a free tour!  It was very interesting learning how peanut butter is made.  One grind for crunchy, two grinds for smooth and 1.5 grinds for smoochie!  As much as Victoria loves peanut butter a jar weighs far too much!

We stopped at Rabbit Island for lunch, an idyllic spot though we kept being attacked by some strange flightless birds with a nasty looking beak.  We have since discovered that they are Wekas.  All they wanted was our lunch, but then so did we!  We had a short walk on the beach and watched people swimming.

Our site for the night was at Kaiteriteri which is right on a lovely beach.  I had asked for a pitch near the beach but that was a mistake!  These pitches seemed to be full of seasonal campers who took up every available inch of their pitch and we felt very hemmed in.  Later we went for a walk and discovered that the pitches away from the beach we much nicer.  We walked along the beach and had an ice cream before settling down for the evening

Saturday 24th February - St. Arnuad

We were up early as we had a boat trip booked which took us up the beaches of the  Abel Tasman National Park. We had to move Kiwi into a car park otherwise we would have to have paid for another night on the site.  However, the car park was free!  Can you imagine a beach side car park being free in the UK?!

The boat came up almost onto the beach then dropped a gangplank to get the passengers onboard.  We were at the front of the queue but I still managed to choose the wrong side to sit on. We had chosen a “there and back” ticket but lots of people got off on different beaches and, I assume, would have walked back to Kaiteriteri.  The beaches were beautiful with lovely gold sand, I’m not going to say golden as the sand really was gold! We saw some fur seals but they didn’t really show up on a photo. Sadly a nasty bank of cloud came over us and it got a bit chilly but once back on Kaiteriteri beach it was lovely again.

Our stop for the night was St. Arnaud.  We were going to have another go at freedom camping only is wasn’t free!  It was a POP (Park Over Property) area and we had to leave $10 in an envelope!  There were some nasty looking bees flying around so we sat inside.  Later we discovered that our bees were big sandflies and that St. Arnaud is renowned for them!

Sunday 25th February - Greymouth

We had quite a storm during the night with the thunder rattling around the mountains.  It seemed to go on for ever and Richard slept right through it!  Our second night of freedom camping which didn’t really work out!

Our first stop was the swing bridge at Buller Gorge.  We didn’t want to cross it, just look at it but you had to pay, however the lady must have taken pity on me and said that if we walked along the path a bit we could see it!  The bridge is the longest swing bridge in New Zealand though I got the distinct feeling that it had been built as a tourist attraction as there was a zip wire working on the other side.

We followed the River Buller almost to the sea, watching it get wider and wider.

We stopped for lunch at Cape Foulwind and had wanted to walk to the lighthouse but we just didn’t have time.

The road hugged the beach all the way to Greymouth and we kept stopping to look at the waves crashing onto the beach.  The sea is the Tasman Sea and is known as being a bit vicious.

Our last stop was Pancake Rocks which were fascinating.  They were formed 30 million years ago from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants on the seabed about 2km below the surface.  Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify in hard and soft layers.  Now you know!

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