Picton to Wellington

We say farewell to the South Island as we alight the ferry to the North!
Picton is pretty and gives us a taste of Marlborough sounds where we will be sailing through.




All aboard the ferry, car and all.


The north island is in sight!

First port of call on the North Island-the Welsh bar!

It was weirdly homely…

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Marlborough Wine Tasting

I’m not a wine drinker but up for a tour that includes wine and beer, and the Hops N’ Grape tour does just that. 


Woke up to the sun shining over the river. Picked up by Cameron, our guide at a very reasonable 1030.


Cameron taught us a little about how to tell the different grapes by looking at the vines, and showed us around the winery, this brought us up to a reasonable hour to start the tasting! 









These wines went down rather nicely, and it was good to learn how to actually appreciate the taste and ‘nose’ of each drink.






Onto the next winery, and lunch (after five tasters I was well on my way!)





After more wines and lunch it was beer time! 






Another wine tasting session…


By this point Laura and I were in fits of giggles over nothing…a sign of a good day if you ask me.





More wine before some cheese and chocolate tasting! This tour had everything! I did embarrass myself in the cheese shop by telling my cheese jokes.





*page missing*

Nelson/Blenheim

 
Once the hangover had subsided, found a market for some cheap food and then we hit the beach.



We did indulge ourselves and booked Bug Backpackers so we could have another bed for the night instead of camping!


Laura hated it! As you can tell from the picture! 
Even with a good night’s sleep in a warm bed, I was still done in! 
Camping takes it out of you!
Blenheim bound today, which is situated North East of the South Island, and Marlborough, winery county.

Motueka/Nelson

The furthest point of the southern island so far is Farewell point. 
We stayed in Motueka, drove through the mountains to Farewell spit.
We took on the walk to get as far down the spit as possible…probably a mistake as we are amateur ‘walkers’ and this was a loooong walk! 










There was risk of quick sand while in the dunes, which I found entertaining, especially after getting caught in it twice! 





Needless to say, we were done in after this walk! 
So coming back to the third flat tyre in three days was a pain! 

We were rescued by a guy from Nottingham who was a mechanic working in the cafe up the road! 
We had planned to have a night out when we arrived in Nelson, so we were on a mission to get there! 
We made it! 

After camping for nearly three weeks, we treated ourselves to a cabin with an actual bed! Dolled ourselves up for the first time since Christchurch! 
Found an aptly named bar that was still open (they have weird closing times here!)

Somehow made it to another bar.

Bit of live music and dancing! 
We didn’t see much of the next day.
Only movement made was getting out of bed to take the pizza off the delivery guy. 

Charleston

 
Charleston is home to the glow worm caves. There is pretty much nothing here apart from the campsite we are staying at, the glow worm caves and their cafe. Or at least that’s all we saw…

When we went to book the glow worm caves we were faced with two options, one was just a walk through the caves to see the glow worms. The other was walking through the cave, in a wetsuit, carrying a tractor tyre inner tube, seeing the glow worms and tubing down the river…
Yup. We squeezed ourselves into wetsuits and plundered into the darkness! 
What an experience! 

This post is so late as I’ve been trying to get the pictures off the water proof camera, but am not that technically minded. So failed. But there is a link to laugh at Laura and I down a cave..
http://www.caverafting.com/nggallery/page-27/album-108/gallery-3513/

Franz Josef

Waking up to a snow covered mountain is one of my best moments on this trip.

Visited MacDonald lake which is a bit further north of Franz Josef.



So calm and peaceful here. I would have been happy to sit and enjoy this for a while, but the sand flies started to swarm.

Time to tackle one of the glaciers now, Franz Josef was first, after a short detour to Peter’s Pool.



The walk to the glacier was spectacular in its own right, with the river and waterfalls.






Was a little bit naughty and went over the fencing to sit on a giant rock and enjoy the glacier.




Not satisfied with climbing to one glacier, Fox glacier was next (am I the only one who thinks of Fox Glacier mints?)









After all this walking a trip to the Franz Josef hot pools to soothe my feet and calves! 

Wanaka to Franz Josef

Puzzling world!!


Got lost in the maze, but we did complete it! No idea how long we took but we were hungry! 









Optical illusion time!



















Enough of fooling our tiny brains, onwards to Franz Josef! 


Only thing with New Zealand is you can’t drive very far without seeing a view to stop and enjoy.











The drive from Wanaka north to the glaciers was amazing. So many amazing vistas! 
Eventually arrived at Franz Josef!



Camping with the mountains as a backdrop.

Couldn’t ask for more!