Our first stop after Picton was Nelson. It is actualy the oldest city in the South Island and the second-oldest settled city in New Zealand. Nelson is known for its artsy vibes and art festivals.
We could feel the relaxing and crafty vibes in the city as we walked around.
It is also very close to Richmond. Actually one starts where another one ends. We didn't explore the city much, but if you are interested in things to do there check out this post HERE.
One thing we did, while in the area. We went to a place where two C meets - cars and clothes. We visited World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum (WOW). Mainly because it was Birthday of Aldis and I wanted to surprise him ( he loves vintage cars). But it was surprisingly interesting for me too, as there were multiple exhibitions of "clothes" as an weareble art pieces.
World of WearableArt is actualy the design competition, which is known internationaly. The competition take place in Wellington during three week period and around 60,000 people attend the event every year.
Next stop - Abel Tasman National Park. It is New Zealand's smallest national park, but it just means there are ton of things to do in a much more compact area. Here are many sandy beaches, crystal clear water, mossy valleys, green forests, granite and marble cliffs.
There are a lot of hikes you can do. Either for couple of hours or couple of days - the choice is yours!
We didn't felt like hiking a lot that day, so we chose to have a laid back day on a beach. We arrived in Marahau and hiked up to Apple tree Bay. It was a short and easy hike with beautiful views.
Also it is a very good idea to go for a boat ride around the little islands. Sometimes you can spot the whales and dolphins. The Abel Tasman National Park is a great place to relax with a whole family. Many people go there for vacation and kayaking. It is possible to see a lot of cool animals in the park. Like deer, pigs and even goats, which is very rare in New Zealand.
We also decided to visit Farewell spit - the island's northernmost point.
It is a narrow sand spit at the northern end of the Golden Bay. Locals told us that is is surreal feeling to see the sand dunes that looks like desert or something out of a Star Wars movie.
I suggest you to go with a tour group to see most of the large sand dune as it is opened just partly for individual travellers. Otherwise the long drive off the route will not pay off. You can book your tour HERE and HERE.
It is very windy there, so be prepared.
On our way back we made some stops with breathtaking views.
The next day, we stopped by one of many "man-made road side shoe fences", this time it was a sneaker fence. I love that wherever you go in New Zealand these type of objects can be in most unexpected places. There are many jandal fences, and some with gumboots, sneakers or even bras.
This time I decided not to leave my hiking shoes as they were too good to be left there (got them from store called Veikals Ceļotājs (here in Latvia) and they are from a brand Mammut which is Swiss outdoor clothing brand for mountaineering and trekking.