You can see the route the Interislander Ferry took leaving Wellington. We landed in Picton around noon and headed to our first stop in Nelson (in blue lettering) just 2 hours drive.
Driving into Nelson we expected a small town like Heber. It felt more like landing in Boise. It rests right in the harbor and though it was older, it had a great downtown. We got settled into the Rutherford Hotel. The lobby was nice, the room was small but bed was comfortable. We would never stay there again. They gave you 300 mb of free wifi which lasted around 15 minutes. If you watched a video it was more like 5 minutes. The rest you had to pay for. In order to just get texts and emails we had to go to the local library. While management hid behind curtains the front desk had to field all the complaints, some of which were ours. But we complain nicely if that matters. It did give us pause about of our dependance for our devices. We got over that soon enough.
The first thing Bob and I have learned to do when we get to a new city is set out on foot to get our bearings. It was just getting dusk and it was time to find some place to eat. We have come to expect great food in the strangest places. Nelson was no exception.
This is a tiny restaurant off the beaten path that seats maybe 20-30 people. We got the corner table by the kitchen and watched the two chefs work furiously to meet the demand of pizzas and pasta being ordered. This was thin thin crust (my favorite) and the best Margarita Pizza I have ever had. I actually ate it cold the next day for lunch and I never eat cold pizza!
Each city in New Zealand that we have visited has had the vision to create miles of beautiful walking paths and a signature beautiful garden. Nelson has a river-walk that goes on for miles with bridges to connect you all along the path. One of the bridges leads you to a small mountain top with a pole that marks the very center of New Zealand!
One our way back to the hotel after our walk and quite by accident we found this beautiful Queens Garden.
(note: lawny lie-down is just one of the quaint ways they talk. For instance, when they say hello, it is “Good on ya!” I’m hoping some of these heart warming phrases stick.)
Keep in mind that all these spaces sit in close proximity to the heart of each town. I’ve been wracking my brain on why it has not been done yet in Mesa. I realize we are in a desert but I wonder how we can make this happen!
This is a view from the Catholic Cathedral which stands as the most prominent building in the city. It is built upon a hill and though it is in need of a lot of repair…it was beautiful…and a direct view from our “non-wifi” hotel.
The Christ Church Cathedral sits as a beacon over the city. The bell tower actually works every hour on the hour. I love the idea of a bell tower on the Consolari campus. It would have to be the kind of bells that don’t sound like metal but something beautiful. I remember how beautiful the bell tower at BYU was. Bob and I had the chance while we went to school there to play that organ inside the bell tower. Each key was the size of your hand and as I recall around 3 octaves of keys. That remains a good memory.
We spent our sabbath at the Nelson Branch…though it was a large building and quite a full chapel…of mostly Maori it was still just a branch.
With only two short days in Nelson we make our journey to Queenstown with one more stop before we get there…Hokitika.