Week 12 Day 77: We’ve hit the South Island, New Zealand!

South Island New zealand

We’ve hit the South Island!


Week 12 Day 77

Nelson, NZ 41.2708° S, 173.2839° E

We finished up last week wrapping up our time in Wellington on the North Island.

Saturday Tom and I woke up to take the 9:30am class.  Following class we hit up the Lower Hutt Farmer’s Market once more, stocking up on veggies and fruits to juice, and lamb and veggies to make a couple more yummy curries!

That afternoon, I taught my last class in the Hutt. 🙁   So sad to leave that studio, it was such a great experience!

We spent the evening chilling with Rachel, watching TV and eating a yummy lamb curry thanks to fresh ingredients from the market.

Sunday we had a super relaxing day.

We started off the morning with a 9:30 yoga class, followed by an awesome brunch with Francie and Nadine in the town of Petone.

Sad faces because the end of the trail was closed.

Sad faces because the end of the trail was closed.

Tom's and my yoga homework.

Tom’s and my yoga homework.

Taking advantage of the nice weather, following breakfast we went for a bushwalk.  Unfortunately, the end of the bushwalk was closed.  We didn’t get to see the dam at the end, but it was still nice to get out and get some fresh air!

Deciding we’d been really healthy and fit for the day, we headed to Eastbourne for a gelato treat and to meet Nadine’s parents.  They had a beautiful home overlooking Wellington Harbour.   We chatted for bit getting tons of suggestions and information about the South Island.

We headed back from Eastbourne just in time to catch evening mass, and then settle in for the night with another yummy lamb curry and a little Kiwi horror film (based on a true story), Out of the Blue.

Monday morning we got moving early.

We woke up at 5:45 to catch one more yoga class at 6, pack our bags, Tom got some work in, and we headed to Wellington to catch our ferry.

BTW, if you are curious about what this “work” is that I’m always telling you Tom is doing, check out https://gumroad.com/l/pwywguide.  Tom just released the preorder for one of his latest projects.  There is more in the works that should be coming out early next year and you can always check out his ongoing writing at Tommorkes.com or download his podcast In The Trenches.


Tugboats in Wellington Harbour as we wait for our ferry.

Our ferry passes red for passengers yellow for cars. (Expensive pieces of plastic!)

Our ferry passes red for passengers yellow for cars. (Expensive pieces of plastic!)

We arrived plenty early to catch our ferry.  (Which was actually a very good thing considered we realized halfway there that we’d forgotten to return the Lower Hutt Studio Key!  Oooops!  U-Turn!!)

Despite having to turn around, we still got to the ferry early which meant we were one of the first in line.  I had read it is very good to be one of the first ones on the ferry, because then you can hurry to the top deck to get a front seat with the best view!


Our Bluebridge Ferry!

View from our seats.

View from our seats.

The ferry ride itself was gorgeous!

It is amazing how crystal blue the water is here.  There were also some pretty cool coastlines once we got into Queen Charlotte Sound.

Entering Queen Charlotte Sound

Entering Queen Charlotte Sound

Once we arrived in Picton, we headed Northwest to Nelson.

20131104_183141The drive along the coast was beautiful.  This area actually reminds me a lot of Washington, my home state!…minus the palm trees of course! 🙂



We reached our destination of Nelson just as the sun was setting.

The bartender at Hashigo Zake back in Wellington had raved about the beer in Nelson, so we were excited to check out the craft brew.

20131104_201656We quickly headed to The Free House, a small craft brew pub which allows you to BYOF (Bring your own food.)  We didn’t have any of our own food, but we did order a small feast from the Indian Restaurant across street.

Arriving in Nelson, we’ve already begun to see a small decrease in cost of living which is greatly appreciated!

We camped out for the night in Miyazu Garden, a small Japanese Garden near the edge of town.


Tom walking through Miyazu Garden Tuesday morning.

Ying Yang Grass Patch in Miyazu Garden

Ying Yang Grass Patch in Miyazu Garden

The next morning we started our day strolling through the garden before separating ways.

Bamboo Forest in Miyazu Garden

Bamboo Forest in Miyazu Garden

I headed off to Hot Yoga Nelson for a Yin Yoga class, while Tom hit up a local coffee shop (with unlimited WIFI YAY!!! another thing that has been much easier to find on the South Island!) to do some work.

After we both finished our business for the morning, we headed to the New World Market to stock up on rice cakes, peanut butter, hummus, chocolate, beef jerky, and chili beans before heading out to the Abel Tasman region.


Our first stop along the way was The Resurgence.

20131105_143307The water was so clear you could see to the bottom of the river bed!

Tom peeking into the resurgence

Tom peeking into the resurgence

20131105_144253The Resurgence is the start of the Riwaka River.  The water is collected from Rainfall that falls into Riwaka Hill, drains, and comes out of the mountain at this location.  The water is supposed very pure and clean enough to drink, although we didn’t try drinking it.

Walking up the steps to the resurgence

Walking up the steps to the resurgence

The pictures appear a little blurry because of the rain that was falling.

The Abel Tasman Region is supposed to be one of the sunniest parts of New Zealand only getting rain a couple days a year.

Tom and I must be super lucky, because we’ve caught a whole week so far of those rare days! 😉


After hitting the road once more, we took a small detour driving into the land side of Abel Tasman Park to do a trek of one if not the largest Sinkhole in the world.  Harwood’s Hole.  

Tom showing off his yoga skills in the forest on the way to Harwood's Hole

Tom showing off his yoga skills in the forest on the way to Harwood’s Hole

The trek was a pretty easy walk with most of the park being a dense forest, but once we got closer to Harwood’s hole the terrain turned into a weaving path through all kinds of rain worn boulders.


That's a pretty deep hole!

That’s a pretty deep hole!

This part of the hike actually turned moderately challenging, but once we reached the end it got pretty intense!

If you’re not careful you could walk right fall into Harwood’s Hole.

20131105_160241We got just close enough to get an idea of how deep it is, but we couldn’t get close enough to even come close to seeing the bottom.


The edge of the trail.

This was the best we could do to getting a pic down the sinkhole:



View from the ridge.

The hike to Harwood’s hole, also leads to a ridge above the hole.

It was unfortunately too cloudy to see anything over the edge, but the ridge itself was pretty crazy.

My favorite rock of the hike.

My favorite rock of the hike.





Heading out of Harwood’s hole back to the main road we noticed a field of Bull we hadn’t noticed on the way in.


20131105_175723The cows were very nice, walking right up to the fence to say hello.

We continued on our way north and soon hit the small town of Takaka.

20131105_151104One of the cool things we’ve found so far in the the South island is a larger amount of pride people take in their business.

That may be an assumption, but what we noticed on the North Island driving through small towns is the few restaurants we found would have done the bare minimum it takes to be open and serve food.  It was 20131105_214842almost like they knew we had no other choice so they could provide a mediocre dining experience.  Obviously, there were exceptions to this especially in New Plymouth and Wellington but those aren’t exactly little towns.

Takaka is one of the smallest towns we’ve been through, but it had 3 or 4 restaurants that had gourmet food and craft beer!  (You were lucky in the North to find something other than Tui or Gold Export the Bud and Coors Light of NZ)

Screenshot_2013-11-07-16-02-23We settled in at the Brigand where we were delighted to find a full selection of draft beers and more unlimited WIFI!

The Brig also had a nice little black kitty named Black Bear who quickly made friends with us! 🙂  Don’t worry Colby Jack, he isn’t quite as nice as you.  I still love you more!

Screenshot_2013-11-07-16-03-01A side note: Tom and I are very proud of Colby, he’s at University of Michigan studying his little furry tail away with Mary.  Mary has been so kind to send us updates of Colby’s education.  He’s been studying hard and writing papers.  He recently just passed his latest philosophy exam! 🙂

We worked late into the night at the brig so that Tom could finish up some pressing work and post his latest blog announcing the pre-release of his latest project, The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing.

Upon finally hitting send, we headed out to the coast to find a spot to park and cook some dinner!

We found a great spot in a Marina just outside of Takaka.


Driving along the windy road in the dark, we could tell it was going to be amazing when we woke up in the morning and besides the drizzly weather we weren’t disappointed.


Tom walking over the 1 person at a time suspension bridge


We headed further into Abel Tasman to do a couple morning hikes!

The first one we hit up was Wainui Falls.

The river the suspension bridge takes you across.

The river the suspension bridge takes you across.

To get there you walk across some farmlands, along a river, over a one person suspension bridge, and then along a cliff that runs along the other side of the river.

Fall #1

Fall #1

We’ve been across a bunch of suspension bridges since we’ve been in NZ, but none that have a 1 person capacity.

The cool waterfall that was eating away at the hillside!

The cool waterfall that was eating away at the hillside!

We’re not quite sure how true that capacity was, but given that a part of the bridge was starting to break we weren’t going to test it!

This hike didn’t just lead to one waterfall, it had a beautiful raging blue river and multiple waterfalls along the way.

Wainui Falls

Wainui Falls

One of the cooler ones, was actually the smallest, but you could tell it had been running for a long time by the way the water had created mini pools in the hillside.

Wainui falls itself was pretty impressive.

The water was running so fast there was a mist all around us on the natural viewing platform.

Before we got too wet, we headed back to the car and onto our second hike for the morning, Rawhiti Cave!

The Rawhiti Cave Entrance!

The Rawhiti Cave Entrance!

Crazy phytokarst!

Crazy phytokarst!

This hike said it would take an hour to get there, but we were able to make it in 30 min.  Something important to note if you’re ever trekking in NZ.  Many kiwis take their children trekking so often times the estimated times include stopping to take pictures and/or slow moving children with short little legs.

20131106_111456This trek was a little difficult to find.  You have to drive into a private farm.   (The farmer has given public access.)  Once you get through the farm, there is a car park with a sign giving information on the trek.

We walked along a dead river bed for about 10 minutes before we started the 20 minute uphill climb!

20131106_111932Along the way we spotted 3 wild goats.  Their hooves dug into the slippery muddy trail much better than our shoes so they were able to move along the trail much faster than we were!  20131106_111913

IMG_20131107_170944When we got there, we were super impressed!

This cave was different then the other caves we’d visited in Waitomo because the sunlight could actually penetrate into it.  That’s what creates the cool colors you see!

We also went to Pupu springs, but unfortunatly because it was a rainy day they didn’t look as cool as they were supposed to.  The rain fall made the super clear water really not so clear.

20131106_202818We ended up spending the rest of the day at Roots, which also had free WIFI and some tasty craft beer! 🙂

We used today (Thursday) to do research on Kayak companies for tomorrow.  (The sun is supposed to come out tomorrow…it’s only a day away;) )

The plan is to kayak as far north into Abel Tasman as is Court Court and T Tommy possible and back in one day.

We hope to have some epic pics for you next week!

We hope everyone at home is doing well!

Until next week!  Cheers! 🙂

Remember that video of Tom’s I promised you?!?!…he’s finishing it as I write….It’s a race to see who posts first!….I think I win!…That’s ok, Tom’s still # 1 he does a lot of other cool things!

Leave us a comment!  Say hello!  Tell us your favorite beer of the week!  This week ours has been Monteith’s Dopplebock!





Comments 3

  1. Post

    Neither! Another teacher at my studio in the lower hutt let us borrow hers. We’re days beyond it now and I miss it so much!!!

  2. Pingback: Tom and Courtney Down Under

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *