In March, we flew down to Nelson for my birthday, travelling on by car to stay in the beautiful Motueka Valley. Motueka is situated slightly off the main route from Nelson to the Abel Tasman National Park and was a great base to do lots of day trips around the area.
When we were searching for places to stay near the Abel Tasman Park, we found this quaint little yurt, which is tucked away in an eco-village community overlooking the Motueka valley. We had stayed at a yurt campsite in England before, but the remarkably beautiful surroundings and the tranquility of this location were second to none.
Tucked away in the middle of the bush, not too far from the owners’ yurt, our yurt came complete with wood burner, indoor dining area, private deck, outdoor kitchen and outdoor bathroom! We enjoyed delicious locally grown, homemade breakfasts brought right into the yurt each morning by our amazing hosts: buckwheat blueberry pancakes, nashi pears, locally sourced honey and fresh espresso coffee. It was heavenly! Watching the pink and purple hues of the sunrise each morning was pretty spectacular too.
Situated a relatively short driving distance from Motueka is Kaiteriteri, a beautiful golden sandy beach next to a camping spot and a selection of coffee shops, even a coffee cruising boat! We stopped off for a splash on the beach before setting off on a day walk into the Abel Tasman.
Abel Tasman Track walk
Armed with our trusty baby carrier backpack, oodles of snacks, swimming togs, factor 50 and sunhats, we set off on a 3-hour return walk from the start of the Abel Tasman track in Marahau. Not-So-Little Miss Wriggles did really well, alternating between walking and being carried. What I loved about the track is that there were so many viewpoints and so many little bays for you to kick off your shoes on and relax along the way. The walk itself was really enjoyable, relatively flat and we encountered quite a few friendly wekas. The whole Abel Tasman Track is a 60km walking track which hugs the beautiful coastline of Tasman Bay and Golden Bay. It stretches from Marahau to Wainui and can take 3-5 days to complete with options to kayak or walk parts of the route.
Kahurangi National Park
Another national park that we ventured out to was Kahurangi. It was high up in the mountains, along a very bumpy track which with hindsight is probably best suited to 4 x 4s. When we eventually made it up the mountain to the start of the walking tracks, it was misty, magical and classic New Zealand LOTR style; the type of secluded bush walk that you might expect to see an orc or a hobbit wandering around…or maybe that’s just me! One hilarious parenting fail moment occurred when Sophia announced that she needed the loo in the middle of the bush and both Jeremy and I had spectacularly forgotten the tissues, wipes and toilet paper…so we improvised… rustic style, dug a hole and grabbed her a leaf!
We didn’t spend much time in Nelson on the way back to airport but did a bit of exploring, found some local playgrounds and caught up with friends from London days.
All over the Nelson region, it seemed that every field was filled with fruit trees and vines. Throughout NZ there are these gorgeous little fruit stalls with honesty boxes for you to serve yourself delicious, locally grown fruit and veg:
One of the most relaxing breaks ever…. and one of the last trips of our New Zealand chapter.. watch this space!