We had grand plans for New Zealand, world renowned for its gorgeous scenery and amazing hiking. But as the time neared for our journey across the Pacific, we realized what we really needed was some down time.
So we booked five days in Auckland, where we participated in the People’s Climate March, which coincided with the climate talks in Paris, and enjoyed good food and speaking English.
Next we headed to the South Island and the stunning Golden Bay, for another week of relaxing on the beach, and day trips to the local sights like Wainui Falls and Te Waikoropupu Springs, the largest freshwater springs in the southern hemisphere. (And we took a break from the blog, which is why you haven’t heard from us for a while.)
After we were properly rested, we spent three glorious days kayaking the incredibly scenic Abel Tasman National Park from north to south. The weather wasn’t perfect (gale-force wind warnings nearly kept us off the water altogether), but we made the most of it, and even lucked into some sparkling blue sunny skies for a portion of the trip.
Fur seals frolicked and little blue penguins swam within a few meters of our boat. We explored hidden inlets, feeling like pirates. But instead of gold, we were treated to golden sand beaches and sting rays swimming beneath the crystal clear water.
And just like that we were in love with New Zealand!