Leaving the South Island

Our South Island odyssey ended up in Nelson at the north end of the island. The drive to Nelson from Picton was scenic, I think, as I was concentrating on staying on the right, or rather the correct, side of the road. Our B&B was comfortable and walking distance from the CBD. We found a nice small restaurant, Arnel’s Fusion, for dinner, although businesses pretty much rolled up the sidewalks around 5:30. Along with a couple of locally brewed Stoke beers, the seafood platter included green mussels, named for their shells’ color.

Tasman National Park is beautiful, as is most of what we have seen in New Zealand. We signed up for the half-day cruise/water taxi that stopped at several bays, coves, and beaches along the park’s coastline to discharge or pick up hikers, walkers, and kayakers. The day could not have been better, and the stiff breeze kept things comfortable, if not almost cool. We saw a few fur seals lolling in the sun (though nothing like the bob of seals we saw along the railroad on the ride to Picton). The park has trails and camping areas that weave among the shore and hills. One can take a multi-day hike along the whole length or a series of shorter hikes. The lodges in the park are good hub locations, but they were booked when we were making reservations (I bet space is available now, due to the COVID-19 “event”).

Before our flight to Auckland we stopped at the World of Wearables (WOW) and Classic Car Museum. Housed in a former car factory, the museum has two distinct sections. WOW is an annual contest that designers enter and compete for prizes and recognition. The costumes are on display along with videos of them in the “cirque de soliel”-ish, in terms of choreography, “story line,” and music, fashion show.

The other section is a natural segue (or maybe not) from fashion to a collection of dozens of classic cars in mint condition. They range from international and US makes and models from old to modern. Behind the primary showroom is the second showroom along with a workshop containing several cars in various stages of restoration. It was a nice stop before our flight to Auckland.

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