Pretty much as soon as we got to the South Island, we realized there was really only one way we wanted to travel:
Renting a car would give us the freedom we want to stick to our own schedule, go where our hearts desire, and explore off the beaten track. When we inquired about renting a car at a company in Picton and heard we could rent this yellow Subaru for less than nz$200 each, we knew it would be a good decision for us.
When we arrived in Kaikora, a small coastal town, we stopped at a fresh fish market, Cods and Crayfish.
The Paua shell can be found right on the beach here in Kaikora, and it makes the most beautiful jewelery, so I couldn’t leave town without some. I love circular designs, and I love dangling earrings, so these were perfect! I love how they showcase the beautiful colors and design of the shell. Plus, they are made with sterling silver and on sale for nz$20! I love a good bargain!
Time to prep dinner! We decided to make Classic Kiwi Hostelmade Fish and Chips:
Though Kiakora is known for its whale-watching, tours are really expensive, so Hannah and I decided to pass. We couldn’t leave without seeing some marine life, so we head out on the Peninsula Walkway to see the seal colonies!
After our hike, we didn’t waste any time to get back on the road. We were headed for Nelson! The drive was very windy, very beautiful, and very remote.
A whole foot long veggie delight (cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalepenos, olives, peppers, carrots, and cucumbers) on toast honey oat bread for less than nz$8!!!! The perfect road trippin’ lunch for two.
Pretty soon we had reached the city limits! Our first day in Nelson definitely put me in my place. All of my tedious planning, I mean, pre-organized fun blew up promptly in my pretty little face upon arrival.
Problem #1 – No parking for lil yellow. We will have to do some strategic stationing! For now, the car park (Kiwi-speak for parking lot) behind the hostel is free from 6pm-8am.
Problem #2 – Had to cancel our bone carving workshop since the artisan is out of town for Easter. Big bummer, we were so looking forward towards carving our own bone necklace!
Problem #3 – The brewery we had planned for dinner and a beer sampler was closed when we arrived.
Mine was pleasantly fruity and Hannah’s was understatedly robust. We might even go back! This led to some unexpected fun because the people at the brewery recommended a place near by for dinner, and it ended up blowing us away!
The place was particularly unique because they brew their own beers and ciders, and they have a partnership with the wholesome take-away place next door so you can munch on their food in the bar.
and it only cost us nz$2 each to split it 😉
Problem #4 – The Japanese Lantern Park I had scoped out as a fun night activity was not where my map said it would be. When we did find it, I discovered that though the park is open 24 hours, the lanterns were not lit up! It looked very pretty, so we may go back tomorrow, too.
Problem #5 – We are so tired from our travels that it is 8pm and I am going to sleep!
However, our second day in Nelson went trouble-free! We let ourselves sleep in until 8:00 to catch up on some much-needed rest. Then, after breakfast in the hostel, we made our way our on a self-guided gallery tour! Nelson is known for all its great artists, photographers, sculptors, jewelry-makers, and ceramists.