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So as you may have read in Monday’s post (click here to go and check it out), that was it for the North Island and it was time to head South! Our first big stop was going to be Franz Josef so we sped through Nelson, Kaiteriteri and Westport. All beautiful and unique places but since I only stayed at each of them for one night I only got a flavour of what each place had to offer.

The ferry was perfectly nice, a bit rocky at times and there were some seasick passengers which doesn’t make for the most enjoyable trip! Still, there were some excellent views so I’m glad I did it. Once we landed on the other side we headed to Kaiteriteri near Abel Tasman National Park. It was stunning; golden beach, aquamarine waters with dramatic small islands jutting out of the bay.

The weather was great so one of the first things we did was have a mini walk to explore the area and its beaches. We went out to one of the small peninsulas with a park on top that lead down to some beaches for some more stunning views. After the walk we have some ice cream and played mini golf. I was a bit rusty but I didn’t lose therefore managed to skip the forfeit! Due to some seasonal changes with the buses, we ended up staying in Kaiteriteri for an extra night but that meant we were able to do a day of sea kayaking – so there was the silver lining.

The sea kayaking was definitely one of the highlights of the South Island. There was a good small group of us in double kayaks and the day took us across open water and along the coasts of small picturesque islands. It was a bit windy on the first stretch of the kayak, therefore it felt slightly cold but the exercise kept us warm. We got to see loads of seals either cutely playing or lazing on the rocks as we passed through various bays. We managed to find a small isolated beach for lunch, made all the more perfect as our guide was making hot teas and coffees! Yum! After the excellent but exhausting day we treated ourselves to a homemade burger night and some pool at the bar next door.

After Kaiteriteri we headed to Westport. The hostel was probably the coolest hostel we stayed in. Bohemian vibes with open fires and hammocks, homely kitchens and spacious dorms. It was basically just an overnight stay so that’s all we got to see unfortunately. It’s apparently THE hostel for surfing and stand up paddle boarding so it would have been great to stay for a bit longer but Franz Josef glacier was calling my name! Perhaps I’ll return at some point in the future to tick that one of my list!

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Have a great weekend!
Ella

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