Nelson- wine and windy beaches

Nelson, our final stop on the South Island (and really of New Zealand) was described to us as a retirement home and when we got there on a Sunday late afternoon it certainly didn’t do anything to dispel that idea. The streets were completely devoid of people in the evening and lots of places weren’t even open. However we did find a lovely vegetarian restaurant called East Street that was open until ‘late’ (ie didn’t close at 9!). Phil and I love our meat so I was surprised when he suggested a vegetarian place but the atmosphere was cool and youthful (they played indie music, I was sold when I heard Bat for Lashes), the food was so tasty and like nothing that either of us could cook (we had one attempt at tofu at home and it was not good) so we both loved it and went back another night.
Nelson was a charming and friendly, none more so than the hostel we stayed at, the Inn Between Backpackers which opened last year and is already the nicest hostel in town. Chatting with the owners they made it sound easy but the proof was in the pudding as they were fully booked up for months.
As for Nelson town centre, it not be the most happening place I’ve been to it makes up for it with it’s temperate weather and large amounts of sunshine. We went wine tasting (not to the Marlborough region which is where most wine from New Zealand is from, that was a two hour drive away) but in the wine regions surrounding Nelson where they also produce award winning wine. We went to three vineyards sampled Sauvignons (loved them all), Pinot Noir (New Zealand’s most popular red wine, very light and drinkable but not full bodied enough to go with red meat), the dreaded Chardonnay (which wasn’t that bad, apparently the bad reputation comes from the Australian variety! But they would say that – either way not too bad but still not a fave), Riesling (dry and sweet), and Pinot Gris. It was interesting getting to meet the owners and talk to them about making wine, sounded like a pretty good existence. #lifegoals
The other day trip we did was to the beautiful Abel Tasman national park where we took a boat trip and hiked a bit of the park. The views were stunning but unfortunately it was overcast and windy leading to me sitting on a beautiful beach wrapped up in my layers freezing my arse off (I should be used to it being a Brit!) Not ideal at all but there really was some stunning scenery to be had in the northern part of the South Island just unfortunately for us there wasn’t enough of the infamous sunshine..
And then we were off to Wellington for a flying visit to see our friends Emma and Liam who’d we’d met up with in Christchurch. We had a delicious dinner in Havanas a local tapas joint before flying on to Sydney….

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