Monday, April 16, 2007

Leaving the Nelson area reluctantly, we drove through simply magical countryside into the Abel Tasman National Park. It suddenly all fell into place: when our next door neighbour in New Caledonia had talked about "a park in the top corner of the South Island" that the "gosses" would "lurve", he had been talking about the Abel Tasman. It was the stuff driving holidays were made of - view after glorious view. We stopped for one view (the kind that shows that the earth is round) and revelled in the short walk through forest to get there ... marvelling at the ferns growing up alongside the suspended walkway ...

Dinner was great: a pub with Atmosphere with a capital A. It was a bit like a slab hut, with great pub food, play equipment for the kids to hang off, and composting toilets.

We stayed at the most northwesterly hamlet we could find. In Seagull Cottage at Collingwood.

The next day we headed out towards Farewell Spit, but small children and the two hour tractor ride were not a good option to get to the very end. Instead, we piled into the car and headed back to what would have to be the clearest spring in the world.
And then, we headed for the wild West Coast ... driving alongside a magnificent river.

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