Landing on South Island
The ferry from Wellington (North Island) to Picton on South Island was late and renting our car took more time than we planned. The drive from Picton to Nelson took Despite driving in darkness we found our cottage on Ruby Bay and unloaded our luggage while listening to the waves crashing on the beach.
While Cindy (my wife) and Kayley (24 year old daughter) began making dinner I went looking for the house where I was to hire a bike for the following day. I met with Steve of HeliBike Nelson who welcomed me into his home, made a few suggestions for rides, and provided the bike.
After a late dinner I hit the sack and arose early to spy a calm Tasman Sea while eating breakfast.
Google Maps guided me from Ruby Bay to the trailhead on Brooks Street in Nelson.
The girls planned to spend the day combing the beach and walking to the local market while I was set to explore the Coppermine Loop, my first ride on South Island.
Leaving Ruby Bay proved difficult the next morning. We wished we had planned more than one day in Nelson but had already reserved an Air B&B place (The Lazy Seal Cottages) down the west coast for the next night.
We reached the Lazy Seal around midday which allowed us to check out an incredible beach and seal sanctuary.
The next day we stopped at Punakaiki to see the famous Pancake Rocks.
From Pancake Rocks we headed to the town of Hokitika to see a real, live Kiwi, New Zealand’s national symbol.
Seeing the Kiwis was difficult as we had to be in a very dark room since the Kiwi’s are nocturnal. We had more fun feeding the eels and trying to catch crawdads.
We ate lunch and then drove on to Hans Josef Glacier, a small town named for the massive glacier visible from the parking lot of our hotel.
Heaps more to come … check back later!