Our holiday continued on Monday with a cricket game on Auckland Anniversary Day (a public holiday here in Auckland). The match lasted around eight hours, but was incredibly exciting and ended with a Black Caps victory over Australia! On Tuesday we were off to Wellington where we spent the day visiting museums (Te Papa and Wellington City Art Gallery), wondering Cuba Street, and walking up Mount Victoria. Wednesday morning the four of us woke up early to catch the ferry to the South Island! I haven’t been to the South Island for six years and Michael had never been before so I was really excited for the trip. We arrived in Picton and drove about two hours to Nelson, then on to Collingwood, a tiny town in Golden Bay. In an incredible stroke of luck, a couple of our best friends who are traveling NZ happened to be camping about 50 meters away from our hotel! That night we got dinner with them at the famous Mussel Inn. The next day brought about another early morning as we had booked a tour to farewell spit that was dependent on the tides. Though the afternoon brought some rain, we were able to drive up the spit, have tea at the lighthouse, and play in some sand dunes before it got too wet. From there the tour took us to Cape Farewell, the northern most place on the South Island. At this point Michael’s parents were probably getting a bit tired of waking up early on their vacation, but we had yet another early start on Friday. We drove to Kaiteriteri and hopped onto a water taxi that drove along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. We were dropped off near the north end of the park for a two-hour hike that ended in a beautiful bay. After a picnic and swim in the crystal clear water, we were picked up by the boat and taken back to our car (by way of a fur seal colony). That night we arrived in Nelson, where we rested for a couple days.
On Sunday we flew to Queenstown via Christchurch. While Michael and his parents wandered the town, I took the gondola up to the top of the mountain and enjoyed a short walk and amazing view.