Our drive to Nelson was via the Wairau Valley, with a visit to Saint Arnaud. Near St Arnaud, lies the Rainbow Skified. As we rounded a corner towards St Arnaud, it was very fitting to see a Rainbow over the its namesake Skifield!
You can’t drive this way through to the province of Nelson, without a stop at Lake Rotoiti which is only a mere few kilometres past the turnoff to Nelson. Right in the township of St Arnaud is the entry to the Lake. Very popular in the summer, with the area offering incredible photo opportunities at any time of the year.
Today the wind cut right through to the bone marrow, even with layers of clothing. Only the residents seem unperturbed, but then I guess if you’re a somewhat portly duck with a thick coat of feathers, who has become accustomed to the weather, it probably isn’t an issue.There was no shortage of ducks and drakes with a sprinkling of swans. All so used to interacting with humans, they didn’t bother to get out of your way. Obviously so well fed, there were no demands for food, although I’m sure if food was offered to any of this lot, it would be consumed forthwith.
We stopped off for a warming cuppa at the servo in St Arnaud. Elaine’s Cafe was warm and well sheltered from the bitter wind. I’m sure those outdoor tables would be very inviting in the summer, this time however, we barely noted them, scurrying past to enter the warm building.Aaah, so much better! Our sneaky morning tea was simply delicious, and did I mention warming? ?? Down to earth service, hot, hot drinks, delicious food, and the topper for me, tea leaves instead of tea bags. Well done!
Continuing our drive towards Nelson, we were immensely happy to be encased in a warm vehicle again, having been warmed to the core with the morning tea stopover. Our next couple of days in Nelson included a nice drive around the area.
First stop, Tahunanui Beach, with sand stretching towards the port and Nelson city providing a backdrop, there is a lot to see around this area. In the summer this is another popular area, overflowing with tourists and locals alike. Swimming slides, playgrounds, Natureland, plus the bonus of this fabulous beach. Tahunanui has plenty for all. For those wanting a nice stroll and peace & quiet, then winter time seemed to be the time to visit. Very few people around and still those fabulous views.walk and photo shootAfter a quick walk and photo shoot, we headed into the city itself, looking for somewhere nice for lunch. Today’s choice was a neat little venue, Sprig and Fern, in the main city itself. Here $10 meals were on offer which saw hubby indulging in one of his favourites, bangers & mash.Keep in mind it was winter during our visit, in fact the middle of August. Therefore you may consider the next decision somewhat strange. Off to visit Mapua, were informed that this was the place to enjoy an awesome ice cream. Ok why not. Let’s do it!Loved this ice cream! As we watched the local ferry battle the outgoing tide whilst returning from Rabbit Island, we consumed these delightful treats from Alberta’s at Mapua Wharf. Yes I’m cold now, but it was nice!
Mapua is a beautiful area. Clean, tidy with a delightful wharf, a short little ferry trip over to rabbit island and overall a nice clean part of the Nelson/Tasman province to visit. We were informed there is a bicycle track which runs from Nelson city through to Rabbit Island. Here the ferry meets you and delivers you in a quick few minutes to Mapua Wharf. Fabulous idea for those who enjoy their cycling. Keep this in mind cyclists!
Before we returned to base, our local guides took us for a scenic drive through Kaiteriteri and really, Just look at the sand, this tells the story. Pure gold.last stop was Marahau. Devoid of human life on the foreshore, peaceful, beautiful. Before this blog closes, watch for the review on a hidden Upper Moutere Winery- it’s a gem!