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Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

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Chicago, IL
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Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

Just coming off a great week in Dunedin, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Fox Glacier, etc. and heading into ChristChurch for two days before going to Abel Tasman for three days. Question is how to spend two, full open days in between. My wife and I would like something lower key, we like walking and biking, relaxing, reading, poking our heads in shops, meeting the locals, etc. We have a car. We're not that much into wine tasting or spas. We'd probably want to stay in one place for the two open nights. Any suggestions?

Greymouth, New...
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1. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

Head over Arthur's PAss, pop down to Hokitika for the shopping

You could if you like it stay ther efor the two days as there is plenty to see and do.

Otherwise head North, via Punakaiki and on up to karamea. an awesome out of the way place with wonderful walks, caves, stone arches, beaches rivers with a mild temerate climate.

then enjoy the drive up the Bulle gorge via murchison, and turn off at kohatu and take the shortcut thought to Motueka.

Just a couple of thoughts, any of the places you pass through could suit your apetite, and no vineyards or wine cellars to be seen (a few brewries though)

cheers

Nelson, NZ
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2. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

If you are based in Marahau or Golden Bay for Abel Tasman you could spend time in Nelson for one or both of the days. Lots of day walks, craft shops and if you are here Saturday, the market.

Chicago, IL
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3. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

Thanks so much for the insights. Actually, we're heading to Hokitika today before ChristChurch tomorrow and the next day. I read about Kaikoura in one of the travel books. What are your thoughts on a couple days in that area?

Chicago, IL
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4. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

We're going to be in Golden Bay for the last three nights of our trip. We fly out of Nelson on Sunday (last day of trip) and will likely spend part of the day there. Also, we may make the drive from Golden Bay (2 hours each way I believe) on Saturday b/c I've read great things about the market.

With that in mind (and I asked the other person who has responded too) what are your thoughts on Kaikoura (sp?) or other places between CChurch and Nelson/Abel Tasman?

Many thanks.

Nelson, NZ
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5. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

We have not stayed in Kaikoura and have only stopped for food and a short walk on our last few visits so we cant give advice here.

The Nelson market is good but I dont think I would do a return drive from Golden Bay to fit it in. There is a smaller market in Motueka on Sunday morning which you could go to. Alternatively could you move your time in Golden Bay forward one day and spend Saturday in Nelson - you could then have one night in Hokitika or Kaikoura, 3 nights in Golden Bay then 1 night in Nelson. If you did this, you could go to the market and local shops in the morning then do one of the any walks in the area, sit on the beach with a picnic lunch, go to the small seaside place of Mapua or even go to the Nelson Lakes.

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

Kaikoura would be quite a good place for a stop. There are a few walks around there and there is Whale watching. It is in the middle of quite a wild piece of coast that will be quite different to the other places you will have been or going to. (Golden Bay is quite a lot gentler and the vegitation is different).

You could actually bypass Christchurch if you wanted to. If you are coming from Hokitika over Arthurs Pass (recomended) take a left at Springfield and head through Rangiora, Hanmer and then Kaikoura.

There is a South Bay (I think it's called) walking track just to the south of the village. There is a seal colony just to the north at Ohau point, and a walk into a waterfall. Try the crayfish from one of the stalls here. There are a couple of nice cafes both in the village itself, and in the new bit on HW 1 on the north side.

Chicago, IL
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7. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

Thanks NZMike. We've got to go to Christchurch as we're dropping our son off to catch a bus back to Dunedin. Your references to South Bay and Ohau Point are intriguing. Can you give me a bit more of direction on where they are located? Near Kaikoura? Thanks.

Nelson
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8. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

Hi

Yes, Kaikoura is a lovely coastal town. You can whale-watch either by sea or by air from there. And if you like crayfish (lobster) you will be in heaven!

I know you said you would like to stay 2 nights in one place, but please be wary of the driving distances on your trip. It always takes visitors longer than they think to drive because of the twisty roads and mountain passes etc. A good tip is to be guided by the travel times on a map, not the travel distances.

If you do decide to break up your trip between Kaikoura and the Abel Tasman National Park, you could spend a day in Nelson city. Yes, the Saturday market is fantastic, but the drive to and from Golden Bay would be a long one. I'd suggest you spend your second "transit" day in Nelson instead. Nelson is a very vibrant, artistic city with lots of galleries and quaint cafes. You can take a short (30 mins) walk up to a summit above the city called the "Centre of New Zealand". it is a great little walk, and gives wonderful views over the city towards Tasman Bay and the Abel Tasman coastline. This is a good way to get perspective before you carry on to the Abel Tasman and Golden Bay.

Sounds like you've got a great trip planned. We'd love to hear how you enjoyed Nelson Tasman region after you have been here. for more information about this region see www.NelsonNZ.com

Nelson
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9. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

Hi there

There are some lovely restaurants in Nelson. I am assuming that you are staying in Nelson city? I have listed just a few below that you might want to consider. There are more good ones throughout the region if you want something closer to where you are staying.

The Boatshed Cafe

350 Wakefield Quay

Ph +64 3 546 9783

www.boatshedcafe.co.nz

This is located right on the waterfront - in fact the historic boat shed hangs right out over the water, overlooking the entrance to Nelson's harbour, "the Haven". Its a great menu with lots of seafood. If the menu throws you into a spin, "Trust the Chef" allows you to sample a selection of Chef, Daniel Monopoli's most delectable dishes.

Hopgoods Restaurant and Bar

284 Trafalgar Street, Nelson

Ph +64 3 545 7191

hopgoods@xtra.co.nz

This is located right in the centre of the city, at the foot of the Cathedral steps. This is a favourite for locals on special occasions and you will need to pre-book. Chef, Kevin Hopgood is Michelin-trained, and prides himself on using the abundance of fresh produce and artisan foods available in the Nelson/Tasman region.

For more restaurants in the Nelson Tasman region see a local restaurant guide at www.eatdrinknelson.co.nz

Have a great time in Nelson!

10. Re: Two open days between CChurch and Abel Tasman

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