Grapes, guinea pigs and golfMarch 30, 2017 in New Zealand
After visiting the seal colony near Westport again before we left, yesterday we drove inland past rivers, forest, orchards and vineyards to Nelson, on the North coast of the South Island. Apparently this is one of the sunniest and warmest parts of NZ and the weather is being kind to us so far here - 25C and sunny today. Although the air temperature in NZ is often not that high, we've noticed that the sun here feels particularly strong - stronger than it would be at a comparable temperature in the UK. Sadly, we have had to cut Kaikoura (where we had planned to go whale watching) out of our itinerary, as the most direct roads both in and out are both closed at the moment (one temporarily and the other is still being repaired following the earthquake in that area last year)... Happily this has given us more time to slow down our pace of travel a bit (moving on most nights was getting a bit tiring) and o explore the Marlborough region in a bit more depth. Internet access is more difficult here in NZ, so I'm not keeping up with the blog daily like we usually could in Asia - going forward there may continue to be days with no posts, then several posts at once when we have decent internet.
Today was a fun-packed day of family fun, exploring the area around Nelson and Richmond. We started off with a morning vineyard visit and wine tasting - we got to see the ripe grapes, ready for picking and to taste half a dozen different wines - a great way to start the day. We then went to a place that had a guinea pig village - a funny place where the "hutches" were mocked up as a school, castle, bakery, hostel and even a maternity hospital! Solana absolutely loved it and it has made her even more desperate to get a guinea pig as a pet when we get home (I think I'm going to have to give in on this one...). We then went to Waimea vineyard, where we did more wine tasting, this time whilst enjoying a delicious lunch sitting outside in their gardens. Across the road from there was a farm where we were able to go raspberry picking, eat a fantastic berry ice cream and buy some fresh fruit and vegetables (including the giant celery she's pictured with here) to help improve our diet! After visiting one more winery and sampling their wares, we drove across to Rabbit Island and spent some time on the beach there. It was a lovely beach and we all went for a paddle. We hadn't taken swimming stuff with us but that didn't stop Solana stripping off, streaking across the beach and into the sea (you'll be pleased to hear that we didn't follow suit)! Back at the holiday park where we're staying, we rounded off the day with a round of crazy golf - the first time Solana has tried it. A fun day was had by all.Read more