Travelupdate: Feeling at home on the south island

5 years ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

Years ago I purchased a second hand Quechua tent. It has seen a lot of countries since then, it is used and abused and afterall it gave up last year.

Finding a new temporairy home 
We searched for a lightweight trekking tent. Light enough for in a backpack, big enough for the two of us and we preferred some extra comfort / interior space.

We fell for the MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3 pers, weighing 2,18 kg. The first time we pitched it in our living room, then we tested it for real in Spain and Norway. And we just fell in love with our new casa.

Our casa
The Mutha Hubba is our new home for the next couple of months. And everyday we pitch it on a new spot.
It takes us 9 minutes after arriving to pitch it and ‘furnish’ it. And if the weather allows it we can use only the mesh inner tent without the outer rainfly. Which is just awesome.

Arriving on the south island
After arriving in Wellington by bus we had to assemble the bikes in no time because we had an hour to catch the ferry to Picton. A 25min record pitstop later we were rolling again and on our way to the ferry.

When we arrived we were welcomed by the biggest and yet smallest ‘predators’ New Zealand has to offer, sandflies. So we pitched our home wearing socks in flipflops, a goretex pants, a longsleeve and a headtorch. Probaly one of our sexiest outfits.

50 bites later we can tell you they are anoying little bastaards.

Cosiness and beautiful places
We immediatly noticed we felled more at home on the south island. It is less crowded, is has more nature and overall a more quieter vibe. But is has been hot.

A heatwave coming from Auatralia has been moving across New-zealand. So we adjusted our time on a bike accordingly.

This meant having more time to enjoy cool places. We had a magical stay on Smiths Farm Holiday Park, where they where extremely caring. In the evening we saw the world around us chance into a fairytale lightshow due to glowworms and we fell asleep under the stars.

At Pelorus Bridge we spend some time with a nice dutch couple and their 2 year old daughter, who we met the day before. We then took off in the direction of the Abel Tasman National Park.

Abel Tasman by kayak, foot and boat.
This national park is known for the great trail. a multi-day walking trail along beautiful bays and beaches. However, you can also see all that beauty from the sea.

So we had the idea to seakayak (unguided) for two days, walk back a day and take the watertaxi for the last part. And so it happened.

We bought food for 3 days (mostly delicious dry food). We then went to the kayak company, parked our bikes in their garage and packed all the necessary gear in our kayak. We then got instruction what to do when you flip over and how the emergency torch works.

Being in a sea kayak gives you a different perspective. And having the freedom and means to just hit a beach or pedal around an island is spectacular. Aswell as camping on the beautiful tropical beaches

After the end of the second day our kayak was picked up by a watertaxi and the next morning we left all of our gear in two green sacks on the beach to be picked up. We headed out with only a day pack, because we don’t have any backpacks.

After the 6 hour walk we took the watertaxi back to Marahau. The sea was really rough so it was the most extreme boatride we experienced so far. But a cool adrenaline finish of this mini adventure.

Funny fact after arriving in Marahau the watertaxi rides up a boattrailer. The skipper becomes the driver of the tractor and you make a short drive still seated in the boat through the town towards the watertaxi pickup point. And there we found two green sacks :).

Heading to the westcoast.
After re-packing our bikes we are now leaving the Tasman district and are heading for the west coast.

Less subshine, more rain, steeper hills, more sandflies. We are looking forward to it!