Saturday, 21 September 2013

A return to Nelson & Rabbit Island, (South Island) and Kayaking in Abel Tasman!

Hello everybody! Well it's been a pretty busy time here in Wellington (and in life generally), with the latest weekend adventure and this week's National OT Clinical Workshops / Conference, of which I will write a separate post about soon. I've also had the amazing news my abstracts have been accepted for next year's WFOT (World Federation Occupational Therapy) - IN JAPAN!!!!!
Of course life balances things out too, with some pretty difficult aspects of my work, including enforcing treatment under the Mental Health Act, which despite being in the best interests of clients, does not sit easily with my professional and personal ethics.

Today's post will be more about this little trip with BEZ - who is a mate from the UK that has recently made a move out here to live and work, and Bez was also a volunteer in Romania for the same charity that I volunteered for (Volunteers for mental health - )

Another sunny & beautiful Saturday morning allowed for some great picture taking, and allowed me to have my favourite view of Wellington again - from the water! I loved how as the boat set off, you could really see how there are houses just dotted around these huge hills overlooking the city...

Leaving Wellington...
As the skies were so clear, we had barely 'turned the corner' from Wellington Harbour before being greeted with one of the best views of the South Island Alps that I've seen all the way from the North Island.

As we approached the Northern tip of the South Island, and the port of 'Picton' through the stunning Marlborough Sounds, the colours of the hills and ocean became more and more vibrant, and almost everybody on board was out on the deck enjoying the stunning views on offer!
Through the Marlborough Sounds
Picton Port
Having had a dream crossing, and Bez's forward thinking to book a rental car ahead of time, we were quickly on our way towards Nelson. A few random people I had spoken with since leaving my flat that morning (including a man at the bus stop, that I shared a cab ride with, and a teacher on the ferry who was having a little break from work, by driving pretty much from North to South), had advised us to take the scenic route to Nelson - via Queen Charlotte's Pass.... and so we did - and oh we were glad we took that advice... 
These next few pictures are from the 90 minute drive through the Pass...
Bez overlooking Picton
It was an empty swing and with this background I couldn't resist! 
Dan 'on the rocks'
Now that's what I call a camping spot!
Like a scene from a sci-fi movie... invasion of the nosey cows!
Through Queen's Charlotte's pass...
Once I had stopped requesting Bez stop the car every 5 minutes for me to take more pictures, we finally arrived in Nelson, found our backpacker accommodation and considered out options! There was still some decent sunlight , and with that night's All Blacks vs South Africa rugby game approaching in a couple of hours we set off for the nearby area known as Rabbit Island. (I loved this place when I had visited once before, and I was not disappointed on my return)! I could talk about the amazing beach, views, forest - but the pictures will describe the place more emphatically than I ever could...
Me on Rabbit Island 
Bez seems to be enjoying the place!
Possibly my favorite beach in NZ so far! - Rabbit Island
Views through the trees Rabbit Island
Reflecting on Nature, Rabbit Island
Some beers, food and a pretty exciting, and controversial rugby match followed this little excursion, but not before some pretty decent sun set colours! 
Nelson Sunset
Abel Tasman national park, one of the 'must see' sites on a NZ tour and a place that almost every tour of NZ will visit. Vast areas of forest, hills, mountains and ocean, leading to the usual array of activities, including trekking, paragliding, kayaking etc... Being just an hour from Nelson, and having a late ferry back that evening, we decided to drive to this spectacular place and see what we could find... an hour or so later we had the 'last point of civilisation' and a very helpful lady at the tourist information centre. 
Abel Tasman
Despite most tour operators being busy, we were told to drive down the road (2 mins) and see if we could spot anyone at a particular kayaking centre. It looked a little deserted, but we found a pretty funny worker, who was happy to give us a quite comical safety talk, and tell us about his marital disputes with his wife (who apparently wanted him to get a 'proper job' with a second child on the way). He towed us out to the ocean in his tractor, and so a 3 hour kayaking journey began. The weather was ok, but with a wind picking up, we spent what felt like an hour just getting away from the shore line! Obviously it's hard to take photos from a kayak, but we did stop on a deserted little beach to take a few shots! 
Bez with our 'Waka' ...
Lunch on a deserted beach in Abel Tasman
Signs of life... ah no, just my life jacket - better not forget that! 
The journey back to the beach was half the time, with wind assistance, though we had some quite comical moments with the tide in, and getting beached on a couple of sand banks, before eventually navigating our way to shore! 
After eventually getting dry (and warm), a return drive to Picton followed, and a late ferry departure meant our return to Wellington was delayed until after 11pm! A stint in the $2 massage chair in the ferry terminal helped me to relax further! 
Now I was ready for the upcoming presentations at the OT conference! 
Regards from New Zealand.

1 comment:

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