It was going to be Easter weekend, a four day affair here in the country of Kiwis, although I was told they weren't religious. Luckily I decided to buy some groceries on Thursday night when I stopped at the Nelson YHA, and get some supper and lunch for the next day at Subway. Smart girl, because for the next four days, nothing, and I mean nothing was open. I took advantage of the down time by strolling the quiet streets along the placid lakefront, then paying $10NZ both days I stayed at the hostel for the luxury of the private cedar sauna. It was well worth it to have my skin soothed and sweat the toxins out of my system. Heavenly!! What a great service at a youth hostel - by far one of my favorite amenities, making for a decent Easter after all!! The next day, I take the bus to Kaiteriteri, where I catch yet another boat to Abel Tasman National Park. I trek the lovely half day hike on a flat, forested track that hugged
the coastline along cliffs and surrounded by water known as the Coast Walk from Orient Bay to Marahau. Cool, serene and shady, on the trail I was accompanied by giddy Japanese girls, making it the perfect escape from the deserted city streets of Nelson.
All people kept telling me when I said I was going to New Zealand, was "go to the South Island." Now they were right about Auckland, a fairly nondescript city except for the harbor with the loads and loads of sail boats. Supposedly the most in the world. I take these "in the world" claims with a grain of salt now, as surely not every place I've visited can be a superlative! Although admittedly many of the places have been, without a doubt, spectacular. But sometimes it's that the tourist bureaus are working overtime. Anyway, here in New Zealand I really loved the northern part of the north island, up north of Auckland in the Maori heart of NZ, and in the Coramandel Peninsula where the nation of New Zealand as we know it today, was born. Granted, I did fall in love with the Marlborough Sound region on the South Island, where I hiked and biked for 4 fun filled days. Now it was time to explore more of the legendary south. After catching the cougar ferry back to Picton, I hopped back on the Magic Bus to head west to Nelson.