At the north end of South Island is a region called Marlborough. It’s New Zealand’s main (of several, for such a small country) wine-growing region, and home to Picton (a little town where the ferries from North Island arrive), and Nelson — to which Howard, Gene & I flew after regaining our bearings with a day or two in Auckland and a walk on Rangitoto Island (below — I’m messing with your minds if you’re trying to follow my itinerary here; I’m putting up regional segments based entirely on how visually appealing they are and how important they were to my experience in NZ…deal…). Nelson is just south and east of Abel Tasman National Park, for which we sadly did not have time; I’ve included, below, a few shots of what I think are the mountains from that beautiful area, as seen from our overnight hub of Monaco, on the Western edge of Nelson. I have included some of the nicest shots of vineyards around Nelson and Blenheim, a swimming spot along the Pelorus River (which, Wikipedia tells me, is known for its ‘magnificent’ river swimming – but we didn’t know that when we crossed the bridge in our rental car and decided we just HAD to join the folks at that swimming hole), as well as some shots of both the Pelorus and the Queen Charlotte Sound, which are among the Marlborough Sounds — yet another amazingly beautiful region on the northeastern corner of South Island, near Picton where those ferries from Wellington dock.
This is the cute little town of Nelson (sidewalk rolls up, even on a holiday Friday, by about 22:00), above and below. Nelson gets more days of sun that most other parts of NZ. Which…well, isn’t necessarily saying all that much. 🙂