After an eventful and very enjoyable 11 days with my parents, we drove to Picton where we went separate ways at the ferry. They were off to Wellington, while I had a few last things I wanted to do around the South Island before I returned to the North. Upon getting into Picton, I had now closed a massive loop around the South Island, starting January 2nd and not finishing until April 11th.
Sunny Nelson has a few notable activity choices, but the topmost on most people’s itinerary is the Abel Tasman National Park.
Thanks to a great GrabOne deal, my parents and I boarded a big water taxi and headed into the park for a day of walking along beaches, as part of the Abel Tasman Great Walk.
Once again it was a gorgeous sunny and warm day. Perfect for hiking.
The drive from Franz Josef to Nelson is long and while it does have a few things to look forward to, mostly it is just a lot of driving.
After heading out from Franz, my parents and I made a quick stop in Greymouth for their morning coffee and my morning Caramel slice. We were once again surrounded by blue skies and sunlight. I for one don’t get tired of it!
From there, it was a quick 30 minutes north to once again see:
Despite two prior visits, the Franz Josef Glacier remained a mystery to me. Both times it had been cloaked in mist, rain and clouds. A third and final time proved to be the charm.
Today (April 25th) marks one of the few public holidays here in New Zealand – ANZAC Day. Standing for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, ANZAC Day commemorates and remembers those that gave their lives in military service for their country – identical to Remembrance Day in Canada, including the wearing of the poppy.
It was originally created as a remembrance of those lost at Gallipoli, a major battle in World War 1 that saw the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps enter a pitched landing and battle, resulting in heavy casualties. The day of that landing was April 25th, 1915.
Being a public holiday, the shops are closed for the morning to allow ceremonies to be held and observed. Things don’t seem quite as high profile or easily seen as in Canada (I haven’t seen too many poppies), but the ceremonies are apparently well attended here in New Zealand.
Having driven the Haast Pass a couple times already, I knew the drive had several potential stops along the way for hiking and photos. Nothing too serious in length, but worthwhile. So far I had only been to Thunder Falls, so with my parents we planned to be more thorough in our stopping and see a few more spots.
Once again, we were to have nothing but sunshine the entire way.
Posts should resume in a day or two. Unexpected hiking took place, which will add to the upcoming tales which include:
- A Volkswagon Bug/Beetle
- My life being threatened multiple times (in a playful manner…I assume)
- A Great Walk
- A New Job
Oh yes, I had just spent time in little Arrowtown.
After that, my parents flew into Queenstown! We hit the highlights – wandering around town, they went to a Kiwi bird park, Arrowtown and Ben Lomond (some of these photos will be theirs).
First, my parents got a scenic flight from Auckland to Queenstown thanks to the stellar weather. This was their view as they flew down the South Island.
One of the huge glacial lakes (Tekapo or Pukaki, I’m not sure) and the west coast laying beyond, quite a nice sight to see! Once they arrived in Queenstown, we toured the town and had a relaxing first day while they recouped from a long day of travel.