Growing up, it seemed like all of Christchurch migrated north to Nelson and Golden Bay for summer. Having now spent 3 weeks in the area, it’s easy to see why. It has rained for half a day since we’ve been here, the roadside stalls are packed with summer fruits and berries, and the real fruit ice creams call our name at every bend.
It feels good to be on the road again. The last few months haven’t involved much traveling. After leaving Punakaiki we headed to Christchurch to welcome my new niece into the world and stayed until just after Christmas. We tried to get as many cuddles in as possible before heading north to make a house-sitting engagement in Upper Moutere by New Year’s Eve. As wonderful as this time with family was, I’m going to skip over it for expedience’s sake, and let the pictures do the talking. Suffice to say, we loved seeing you all and miss you now we’ve gone.
In Upper Moutere, we were expecting to stay in the bus, watering the garden and feeding the animals to help out, but were treated to a two bedroom holiday house in a converted hop kiln, set in stunning Tuscan-style countryside. The plum tree was dripping fruit, the courgettes, lettuces, and herbs in the garden were screaming to be eaten, the beaches and cafes were an easy drive away and we thoroughly enjoyed having a proper holiday.
On leaving, we headed into nearby Motueka to stay a couple of nights at a freedom camping spot by the salt-water baths. In such a tidal area, these are a real treat. Filled by the sea at high tide for all-day swimming, we’ve been making the most of them in the sweltering weather. We met our first other Family-On-The-Road, and the boys have been having wonderful time playing with two girls their own ages. At low tide we’ve been cockling, and have dined extravagantly on buttery, garlicky cockles with coriander. Foraged food is so satisfying.
We’re heading over to Golden Bay now, and will be there for the next few weeks, making the most of summer the way it should be – full of beaches, sand, fish, and afternoon sleeps.