We headed back to Picton the next morning to spend a few hours cruising on the Queen Charlotte Sound. The boat had an open upper deck and although it was a nice sunny day, on the boat, it was freezing! It was the best place to check out the view. We cruised all the way to Ship Cove, a small bay that Captain James Cook was famous for visiting. After making it all the way to Ship Cove and a few stops along the way, we made it back to Picton.
We were making our way to Nelson from Picton, so we drove along the very twisty and tiny road, the Queen Charlotte Drive. We passed a few 100km speed signs on this road, but there was no way you could go more than 30km it seemed. We stopped for a late lunch in Havelock, to enjoy the world famous green-lipped mussels. These mussels are so delicious!
Based on a local recommendation, we also stopped along the way at the Pelorus Bridge, a site that would be used in the upcoming Hobbit film. The water was beautiful and there was this really cool, very long, swing bridge.
We made it to Tasman, where our B&B was located. In our search for accommodations in the area, we came across a very unique place and knew we had to stay. The B&B was located on the property of the Jester House Cafe and called The Boot, well, because it’s in the shape of a Boot!
This place was awesome! We enjoyed dinner out at the Boatshed in Mapua for some fresh Nelson scallops And then we came back to our Boot to enjoy an evening by the fire outside, drinking wine, listening to music and trying to count the millions of stars we could see in the night sky.
And to top it all off, every morning we enjoyed a lovely fresh breakfast in our cozy boot cottage.
We headed North for the day to go sea kayaking near Abel Tasman in the Tasman Bay. Sea kayaking is no joke, it can be tough, especially in choppy water, but we had an awesome time exploring in our kayak. We even got to see some seals in the water, see Split Apple Rock, and relax on our own private beach.
After our kayaking adventure, we headed to Abel Tasman National Park to hike for a bit. Most of the tour company’s offer a water taxi drop off and hike back option, but we didn’t make it in time, so we just hiked in and hiked out. It seems our whole trip was doing the opposite of what all the out tourists were doing, so it seemed fitting. Abel Tasman is pretty nice, hard to compare to the hikes down further South on the island, but I’m sure if we had more time to explore, we would have seen some cool sights in the park.
We made it back to the Tasman and were told we couldn’t come stay here at the Boot, without feeding the eels, something everyone does when visiting the Jester House cafe.
This was pretty weird, Dave was totally grossed out by the eels, but still kept feeding them. They are like big fat snakes in water. Basically, you are given some minced chicken meat and a stick. You put some chicken on the stick and feed the eels, although you have to hold on to your stick because these eels have sharp teeth and tug on the stick.
We enjoyed another night in our cozy little Boot and then the next morning headed to the Nelson airport for the North Island. The South Island was amazing, we had such a great time exploring and taking in all the beauty. One could easily spend a month on the South Island and still not see and do it all.
Thanks for the memories South Island and now on to the North!