Pancake Rocks!

Our last day in the Motueka region was spent visiting a local winery (check out my post on wine in NZ for more on that), and a local delicious brewery called the Hop Federation.



I highly recommend a stop here! Also, Nelson is the craft brewing capital of New Zealand, so there are plenty of good beer tasting options around too.


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Abel Tasman National Park Trek

The Abel Tasman National Park is located on the Northwest part of the South Island.


The closest town is Motueka, and a larger nearby city is Nelson. There are a number of ways to explore the park, from day trips to week long excursions. One of the most popular ways of exploring the area is by Kayak.


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New Zealand Wine Trail

Hands down, some of the most enjoyable days we spent in New Zealand included visiting wineries in different regions on the North and South Islands. We sought out many smaller, family run, and often organic vineyards to visit in the various wine regions. The wines and the people running the wineries were amazing and created a wonderful tasting experience.


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Nelson & Around

Our first days on the South Island were spent wine tasting in the beautiful Marlborough region (post still to come!), and then in Nelson.

After driving off the ferry, we stopped for a great lunch in this great little deli called BV Gourmets in Blenheim (it was even paleo friendly!). Back on the road, we came across a cherry tree orchard where you could pick your own cherries. We made a last second decision to stop and had a blast picking delicious fresh cherries and them eating them the rest of the way to Renwick.


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Our Journey South

The next stop on our trip was a visit to Napier and the region of Hawke’s Bay. Part of our time here involved visits to wineries, but I want to do a separate post about all of the wineries/wine regions we’ve visited in NZ, so I will just talk about everything else we did for now.

We drove to Napier via a route referred to as the “Gentle Annie” but officially known as the Taihape-Napier Road (taking the 41 to the 1 and then turning off just about 15 Kilometers past Waioru). There is a sign indicating that this road goes to Napier, but there isn’t much of a warning and could be easily missed.

This drive turned out to be incredibly beautiful…from pretty grassland over rolling hills to canyons and mountains with a fading view of the Tongariro National Park behind you.


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The Journey Through Mordor

You all know that famous saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, for this post I am going to let the pictures tell the story because no matter how much I can say about how amazing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was, words just won’t do it justice. This hike is regarded as one of the best day hikes in New Zealand, and it certainly lived up to its reputation for us. Enjoy!

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Geothermal Wonderland

T and I said good-bye to our cozy cabin in Coromandel and hit the road to Rotorua along the east coast of the peninsula.


We stopped in Tairua for a quick coffee and ended up finding the town quite pleasant with beautiful views of the bay and coastline. I would say this is a better spot to visit than Coromandel town if you’re looking for another town on the peninsula to visit.

After getting coffee, continued on to the Karangahake Gorge Road, which is known to be one of the prettiest short drives in the country, and it did not disappoint. It’s incredibly worthwhile to take this route, and leave a bit of time to do some of the walks through the gorge area.

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