Queen Charlotte Sound and Nelson

We arrived in Picton in the early morning via the Cook Straight Ferry. From Picton, we drove along the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive to Anakiwa to hike a section of the Queen Charlotte Track. We did a 10-mile out and back from Anakiwa to Onahau Bay. The track follows the coastline of Queen Charlotte Sound (part of the greater Marlborough Sounds) and provides spectacular coastal vistas along the way.

anakiwa

anakiwa

queen charlotte sound

queen charlotte sound

davies bay

davies bay

one of the many views along the trail

one of the many views along the trail

180 degree views from the grove arm lookout

180 degree views from the grove arm lookout

beautiful horses in the pasture

beautiful horses in the pasture

when we came back through, both horses were resting

when we came back through, both horses were resting

soaking in the view

soaking in the view

A sign at the trailhead said wild pig sightings are rare, but can happen. So during our hike, when we heard a rustling in the bush, we thought it might be the elusive wild pig, but it turned out to be a goat.

image

is it a wild pig? nope, it’s a goat

It was obviously low tide on our way out on the track, because on our way back, water filled areas that were dry sand just a couple of hours prior. It looked like a completely different landscape.

earlier in the day, there was no water under this bridge

earlier in the day, there was no water under this bridge

post hike, back in anakiwa

post hike, back in anakiwa

After our time on the Queen Charlotte Track, we headed to the city of Nelson. We’d heard nice things about the place, and besides, how could we pass up making a stop at a city that bears our last name? Upon arriving in Nelson, we headed to the Botanical Reserve. At the base of Botanical Hill is a field where NZ’s first-ever rugby match was played.

standing where NZ's first rugby match was played

site where NZ’s first rugby match was played

A walking track zig-zags up Botanical Hill, where at the top is a needle marking the “Centre of New Zealand”. Whether it is truly the center of New Zealand depends on how you define the center. Nonetheless, Nelson is the central land district among NZ’s 12 districts and Nelson was laid out from the summit of this hill.

the needle marking the centre of NZ

the needle marking the centre of NZ

standing at the centre of NZ

standing at the centre of NZ

From the summit are nice panoramic views of Nelson and the surrounding area.

views of nelson

views of nelson

nelson

nelson – further inland

the surrounding countryside - lovely!

the surrounding countryside – lovely!

alone at the top, i took my own picture (jay had opted to rest his legs for our big hike the next day, probably wise)

alone at the top, i took my own picture (jay had opted to rest his legs for our big hike the next day, probably wise)

We hung around Nelson until after dinner, then headed to a campsite near our next destination: Abel Tasman National Park.

4 responses to “Queen Charlotte Sound and Nelson

  1. Loving your photos. Are you keeping track of your mileage (both van and on foot)? I hope you are able to see a lot of the south island before you run out of time — going fast! (Would you do the camper-van again or is once enough?)

    • Yes, I’ve been keeping track of our mileage both by foot and driving – final stats will be posted in my last NZ blog post. I would definitely do the campervan thing again!

  2. I can only image how gorgeous that all was to see in person!! Glorious mountains… water….sky…green landscape….wow! Praying for your last moments of your adventure and your travels back (& of course for your HUGE adjustment back to the demands of life)

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