Nelson Holiday Trip 2017


Awake. 0645am. Drive. Ferry. 0900. Snooze. Sneeze. Block ear.

Picton. 1230 Lunch. Sea Breeze Cafe. Chicken Panini. Inclusion of capsicum gets thumbs up. Good chips. Walk around Picton. Overcast.

Drive. Nelson. Nodded off (not drastically) Whoops. 15min pitstop for kip. Arrive Nelson. 1600. Check in to apartment. Nice. Supermarket for Snacks etc.

Dinner. BK. Up to standard. Frozen Coke brain freeze. Sleep.




1030 Leave for Takaka Hill. Hawke Lookout. Wow. Reasonable drive up. Tried to find Lord of the Rings site. Unmarked so unknown; but we think we got it.

Drive down Takaka Hill. By far one of the top driving roads I have driven.

Farewell Spit 1320. Lunch. Pizza. Didn’t finish.

Drive back. Rabbit Island. Good beach. Few snaps. Back to apartment 1600.

Sunset shots. Good enough. You make your own luck.

Dinner. Settled for Lone Star. Late. Great Chicken though. Moist and succulent. Movie 2035. Wonder Woman. Average to Good. Sleep.



1100 start. Shopping. Lunch. Yello Cafe. Chicken panini. No capsicum. Not as good. Continue walk through town. Buy Lord of the Rings rings. Matching set. Outer engraving of elvish poem on wifey’s with lines 1 and 2. Inner engraving on mine with lines 3 and 4. Hopefully they fit together. Hear news of weather. Possible ferry cancellations until Friday (when we plan to return). Might be a full ferry I suspect.

Walk up Hill from Botanical Garden. 1500. “Centre” ofNew Zealand. Great view. Back to apartment. Rest. Snooze. Nap. 1830 Dinner. Speights Ale House. Great wait staff. Chicken Burger. Lovely. Dessert. Good. Back to apartment 2043. TV. Sleep.


1040 Supermarket lunch. Drive to St Arnaud. First time back since NLDC 2001 Stage 2 (Solo). Surprised at how much the drive to the lake hit me. Memories. Faces. Happenings. Failures. Even at the lake, it was powerful, and the nostalgia that set in. Quite glad I didn’t have to go out on the lake today. Very windy. Had lunch and reminisced on the very impactful part that this place had on me and my life 16 years ago. Found some spots from memory. Took photos. Went on a walk. Took more photos.

Checked into motel 1400.Enforced nap due to intermittent TV connection and high winds. Booked dinner at Alpine Lodge 1600. Visited general store and book borrowing box. No luck. Dinner 1830. Pizza. Filled a hole. Nice atmosphere. Motel. Sleep.

130717: THURSDAY


Checkout 1000. Visited visitor centre. one last trip to the lake for photos. Ice still covering the jetty. Left St Arnaud 1035. Went to see Bow. Not keen. Arrived Nelson 1145. Lunch at Styx across from apartment. Fish burger. Full. Put me off dinner. 1400 met with Vicky’s friend Lynaire. Good catch-up. 1600 received text that rings were ready. Collected rings shortly after. Back to apartment. TV. Dinner. TV. Sleep.

140417: FRIDAY


Pack up apartment. Left 1015. McDonalds Brunch because we would be on the road at traditional lunch time. Said goodbye to Nelson. Happy to have v3n, but not somewhere I’d recommend to anyone else to go visit. on road 1050. Arrive Picton 1215 with only one close call when overtaking. Boarded Ferry 1335. Departed 1438. 4m swells but largely unaffected. Delay at Wellington dock. Disembarked at 1935. Drove home, with a quick stop at Nando s for dinner. Home sweet home with awaiting furbabies 2008.


Google Map of our Travels

Taupo: 2 Years Anniversary

Because I am a teacher, we were able to get married during the July school holidays, and forever have some sort of time off around our anniversary.

This year, for our 2 year anniversary, we took a week and went up to Taupo. We stayed in a little batch (which its biggest draw card was a built in spa pool) just outside of Taupo in Wharewaka, on the lake shore.

The drive up was fine. We left after church (which was a great service as well!) and headed up the line. The traffic was minimal, and we arrived right on time, just after 5pm.

Monday, our first day, I decided to get up before the sun and head out down to the lake to take a few sunrise photos on the lake. I got a few sorted out. It took me a while to get used to the adjustments of the light, as well as trialling out my new graduated ND8 filter. Returning to the bach resulted in a return to bed.

We headed out to the Huka falls and surrounding areas around lunch time. We did a bit of a bush walk, before returning to the falls to get some photos. All was going well until my tripod decided to flare up with an old injury. The head of the tripod completely fell apart, resulting in it resembling three sticks rather than a tripod. And as sturdy!

We headed up to Craters of the Moon, the first of our visits to Geothermal hotspots for a wander around the steam and craters.

Tuesday was our actual anniversary, and we celebrated by going shopping for each other. We traipsed around every street in the township, and after spending all day in and out of shops, we didn’t find anything we wanted. I got a wind jacket which will serve me well on future photo trips, and Vicky bought a dress.
We returned back to Wharewaka and got ready for dinner. We were going to Ploughmans, an old English restaurant and bar. It was actually divine. The menu was straightforward and edible. Every main item was a single price, which just made choosing the meal so much easier and straightforward.

Wednesday was tourist day. We headed up the line to Orakei Korako and to Wai o Tapu Thermal parks. They were quite pricey, but hey, we were on holiday! I took endless photos of these locations, and ended up out of battery. But I decided that I’d make a good person to go around such natural tourist attractions and take photos for their promotional material and souvenirs.
In the evening, we arrived back at Wharewaka in time for the sunset. We headed down to the lake at about 4:30pm to a location I’d found during the dawn photoshoot. Whilst there, another photographer turned up and pulled out all his gear for setting up a landscape timelapse of the mountains. It was pretty impressive. Turns out he is Bevan Percival, an amateur videographer who a few months back released a 4minute video of his work, and even got a mention on Stuff for it. It was good to meet someone new with the same interests.

Thursday was our last day in Taupo. We went Mini Golfing at the two courses in Taupo. It was good to be out in the sun and putting. The second course was very full, and so it took us well over an hour to get through the whole course. But, in the end, Vicky equalled the top women’s score for the day, and I was 2 shots away from the top men’s score for the day.

Friday we travelled home in awkward traffic. It was horrid. But we did stop in at the Tongariro National Trout Centre, and even saw Graeme Sinclair of “Gone Fishin'” TV fame. In the end, it was good to be home.