13 days, 9 hotels, 37+ hours of driving and many adventures along the way. My two week New Zealand road trip was like one of those taster platters on the menu – just enough to whet your palate, so you know what to order for the main course. In just 2 weeks, we covered so much ground on the North and South Island, and managed to sleep in a new town almost every night. We stayed in so many cute places, met so many kind and interesting people, and selected some really quaint and affordable accommodations – many of which I plan on returning to.
On our last night of the trip we arrived at our accommodation in Nelson – The Crow’s Nest. As we pulled up the top of the hill, I thought, “awww, crap! I wish we were staying here for a week!” Inside the house, the western-facing wall was completely made of windows, displaying sweeping views of the mountains of Abel Tasman National Park reflecting on the water.
We were so high in the hills, we could see the earth’s curve. Of course, we had the most amazing sunset on the day we had to leave. Below the raised deck of our little house was a lovely garden filled with grapes, satsumas, feijoas, and limes. We stood there sucking on feijoas and staring at the last hints of the pink and purple sky, as the sun went down and stars began to appear on the horizon.
I kept imagining myself coming back here in the summer, grilling steaks and drinking a Tui on the back deck. Ugh, I wish we had more time!
Soon the Milky Way was big and bright overhead – the fourth time we’ve seen it on this trip. Joe spotted a preying mantis and the following commenced…
We should probably start our own nature show, right? ;)
We finished the night of with a delightful dinner on the water, at a restaurant appropriately named The Boat Shed. Family, great seafood, and local wine – it was the perfect way to end our trip.
So why return to Nelson? First of all, it’s gorgeous. It lies right on the water and is in close proximity to three of New Zealand’s national parks. There are plenty of wineries, and it’s also New Zealand’s craft brewery capital. To me, it seems like a great little town to spend a long weekend. And when I return, I definitely plan to stay at the Crow’s Nest.