DM and MM's New Zealand Trip Diary

Day 10 - Greymouth to Nelson

Thursday, 13 March, 1997

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19:58. Nelson YHA

AAAAAAAAAAAA!!! IT'S A BOY! Forgot to tell you...

Yesterday after dinner at Greymouth YHA, Michelle phoned her parents to see if Kylie had the baby yet - and yes, she had a boy on Monday 10th. Name: Nicholas Morgan Fallow. Woohoo! Michelle was just a little bit excited.

But on to today. We rose and brekkied as normal - me eating the last of the first muesli and Michelle starting the new one. After a petrol fill up, we were off along the coast road to Nelson. We'd asked the woman at reception how long the drive took, and she said, "5 hours by the coast road - oh, you have to take the coast road - it's just beautiful." So, we took the coast road instead of the inland one.

Morning mist, west coast, New Zealand
Sea stacks in morning mist, just north of Greymouth

The scenery was indeed spectacular - stacks of rock just off the wave-beaten coast, lit by morning sun rising over the hills, with mist rolling over the sea off the grass and plants. Took plenty of photos.

We stopped at Punakaiki to see the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes. The blowholes weren't working really well because we arrived pretty much on low tide and they only go properly at high tide. Oh well.

Pancake rocks of Punakaiki
Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki

Morning tea was at a one-shop town called Charleston. This was probably the closest to Sydney that we'll be all this trip, since we turned inland directly afterwards. Michelle just had a coffee. Later on I ate some chips in the car.

We stopped by the side of the road a bit further on to eat lunch. We passed through the scenic Buller Gorge - not bad. The best bit was driving through a one-lane section cut right into the side of the cliff face - with the rest of the cliff hanging over the top of the road. Very cool.

Buller Gorge
Buller Gorge, with road cut into cliff at left

Further on we stopped at Murchison for a drink. A dinky little town that should have been bigger by impression from our road map. The rest of the drive to Nelson was over some hills on pretty curly roads - some long distance views from on top of the hills.

Nelson itself is a chunky sized city - biggest thing we've seen since Christchurch - certainly the first traffic lights since then!

We checked in at the YHA, unloaded the car, then went for a wander to the centre of town. Michelle scoped some jewellery shops for gold or silver charms. After moving the car to an overnight parking spot, we settled on a silver kiwi charm. This purchased, we got our last batch of groceries.

Fried eggs and toast for dinner. We were going to boil the last egg to mash on Michelle's bread roll for lunch tomorrow - but I accidentally cracked it while trying to pick it up, so we had to chuck it.

Played some backgammon, then retired, showered, etc for the night.

We have to be up early tomorrow to make the 2 hour drive to Picton in time for the ferry at 10:30. We've set the alarm for 06:45. Yow.

Oh - nearly forgot to mention the fudge! We saw a fudge shop in town and bought a $3 mixed assortment of 8 pieces of fudge - yum. And Michelle bought a purple pen with New Zealand and a kiwi on it.

Accommodation: YHA Nelson: $40.
Food and drink: $16.00.

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