I flew from Wellington to spend Christmas in Auckland, celebrating Christmas day with Anna, Dave, their boys and their family. Just after Christmas I went back to Wellington to continue my journey on the Kiwi Experience bus on the 30th December. Next stop was Kaiteriteri (Abel Tasman) where I was going to spend New Year’s in Kaiteri lodge 50 meters from the beach.
We went on the ferry from Wellington to Picton and then continued the journey, driving to Kaiteriteri on the quite so different type of roads and in very different surroundings as we were now on the stunning South Island.
It was long and winding drive, but I won’t complain as we had lots of beautiful scenery to be wowed by. We arrived in Kaiteriteri around dinnertime in 18°C weather. It was a very relaxed evening where I went to bed early to be ready for a full day kayaking in Abel Tasman.
The kayaking was very nice and pretty cool. We saw a lot of seals with their pups and the water was very still. Sadly, it was a cloudy sky but luckily, we only had very light rain for a very short period at the very end of the trip. We had our lunch on a narrow beach and were able to access it from the other side just in time before the tide had gone too far out (first picture of the kayaking).
After getting back from the kayaking I got ready for the evening and made myself dinner along with the other few people from the bus who had decided to stay in Kaiteriteri for New Year’s. A little while later, I joined a mixed group of people (including some from the bus) at the hostel and spent New Year’s Eve with them starting out in the hostel and later going to the local bar/restaurant for a few drinks with a good view of the beach and the fireworks.
I had a good night although not a terribly long one as I went to bed at 01:45. I woke up, a few hours later, at 05:15, without planning to, made myself a cup of tea and went to the beach to see the first sunrise of the year. It was not very picturesque, but still lovely. I went back to bed at 07:00 and got up again at 10:00. I did not feel tired at all, actually I felt great! I had a lovely day spending most of the first day of the year on the beach with everyone from the bus in absolutely amazing weather! Sadly, I burned my feet badly though.
Kiwi Experience bus driver list:
Auckland – Bay of Islands: Richie
Bay of Islands – Rotorua: Dave aka “Cuddles”
Rotorua – River Valley: Bods
River Valley – Wellington: Ben
Wellington – Kaiteriteri: Hamish..
Kaiteriteri – Queenstown: Cory!