Sunny Days on the Tasman Shore

We set added this week for a vacation, a semi-break from extreme budget travel. We both need a bit of a refresher, something to remind us of the fun and pleasure of exploring a foreign place.

Our first stop, in Nelson town, consisted of a resupply, a stroll around the farmers market, and a lengthy visit to Sprig & Fern, a delicious brewery. We sampled nearly all of the 18 beers and ciders on tap, except the hefeweizen and a few of NZ’s cherished lagers.

Then we spent the first of three nights back on the shores of Kina Beach, an excellent spot for relaxing and soaking in the intense sunshine. The following day, we hitched around Motueka and up to Kaiteriteri Beach, a white sand wonderland. The wind was strong, covering us with sand and keeping us cool.

Then Pat hitched up to Picton to pick up our rental car. I devoted that day to self-care: running along the beach, writing and reading adventure stories from the early years of Outside magazine, wading into the ocean.

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With a rented car, we explored the area at our leisure, thoroughly enjoying the hours we did not spend standing on the side of the road hitching. We arranged a freedom kayak rental and spent a glorious day in the Abel Tasman National Park, this time exploring by sea rather than by foot. We kayaked to predator-free Fisherman and Adele Islands, saw blue penguins swimming and seals sunbathing, and did quite a bit of each ourselves. The weather was lovely, the water clear and vibrantly colored, the beaches relatively quiet. It was paradise.

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And so, after a rejuvenating weekend on Tasman Bay, we set out on a road trip down the West Coast.

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