Nelson is titled, ‘the centre of New Zealand’, and reaching the very top of one of its gorgeous hills, which rewards you with the view of its idyllic coastal beaches and its bustling port, you can see why. I am unsure how accurate that is, but what I do know is, it sure is the sunniest town in NZ. Rewarded with sun most months of the year, means that Nelson is the most laid back town in NZ, it doesn’t have the same work ethic as Auckland, or extreme sports as Queensland, but it does have a world famous wine valley and one of the most beautiful national parks throughout the whole of NZ, Abel Tasman National Park. Nelson is a place to sail, drink wine, bike and kayak. It reminds me of a NZ version of the south of France, but instead of the uncomfortable language barrier, you have warm Kiwi’s asking, ‘Why do you live there?! Come live here!’, and there is little reasons not to.
Westport is a tiny town in NZ, that is only used as stop over for most bus journeys. It is a ghost town, shops and streets are incredibly empty, and I felt it was a scene out of a horror movie. Luckily our time was short here, although we did try out the extreme and fun loving, ‘jet boating’, where you are taken around on a speed boat, whizzing down a river and narrowly missing tight corners along dangerous jaunts of rock. It was incredible!
This stop is purely for Kiwi Experience Buses, as all of the above I have so far mentioned you can easily do yourself with your own bus journey. But this stop is where you have a “Poo Party” in the middle of nowhere with a 100 yr old man and his bar, this top made our journey more personal and authentic.
On the way here we stopped off at the Punakaiki Rocks, in the area Paparoa National Park, which is filled with dense landscape such as rain forest, rugged coasts and snow sprinkled mountain tops. The area is famous for its pancake shaped rocks created 300 million years ago by fragments of dead marine life. The rocks are now blown and eroded by the surges of the sea and the powerful wind, whilst a dramatic coast line walk furthers past this scene.