Archives for posts with tag: Nelson

Long-standing friends invited over us to their holiday cottage in St. Arnaud for the week. They always make us feel at home and part of the family…

“What? You’re in a completely new country, you’re still trying to make friends never mind having long-standing family friends!”, that’s what you’re thinking… right? However, that’s what it genuinely felt like when we stayed in David and Pru Clarke’s bach at St. Arnaud, just on the shores of Lake Rotoiti.

If I’m completely honest, I chose it because it seemed a little cheaper than other bachs, it was near a lake, and it had a woodburning stove. We didn’t know what to expect, but in many aspects this place was a little gem!

The bach is nestled on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, which has crystal clear waters and is skirted by lush beech forests. The St. Arnaud ranges and Mt. Robert dominating the landscape wherever you cast your eyes. There are a network of tracks through the beech forests, which are rich in honeydew – a food source for kākāriki (parakeet), kākā (forest parrot), tūī and korimako (bellbird). Even the elusive kiwi can be found here. In short, this is paradise – heaven on earth.

The bach itself was pretty much what it said on the tin, “a cosy cottage” as advertised on the book-a-bach website. I’m not great with history, but this place must have been pretty old (built in the 1930s to 1950s?), and fortunately nothing seemed to have changed from when it was first built. The photos below speak for themselves, but the wooden floors, traditional country kitchen, and dark wood panelling made you feel like you were stepping back in time to when prior generations of the Clarke family came here on summer retreats. There was a bach log book, which told of fun- and adventure-filled family holidays. Books, jigsaws (see Liz diligently working on one), and games were all freely available to peruse through, play with, and enjoy. Our most favourite item in the bach was the log burning stove. The Spaniel worshipped it, we revered it. It made the cold winter nights cosy and warm.

If I’m being honest, I did have my first bout of homesickness here, when I realised I couldn’t share the magic of this place with family. That felt a little sad, so this post is for all family and friends – check out the pics, perhaps you can come and stay here with us when you pop over? I am sure Dave and Pru would make you feel VERY welcome…

Thanks Dave and Pru

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Tomorrow we are hoofing our way to Wellington, to catch the interisland ferry to the South Island, as we are going to Nelson for a week’s holiday. Excited? Oh yeah.

Auckland is great, but we are country folk (see my earlier posting) so getting out into the sticks will, I am sure, seem like we are returning home — a place to feel whole again.

Anyone who has been to New Zealand knows that it’s not as little as looks on the map, probably because it has it’s big sister, Australia, leaning over it’s shoulder. The distance from Auckland to Wellington is about 400 miles, so it should take about 8 hours of solid driving (see here). Hence, we’ve got quite a trek tomorrow…

We are catching the ferry from Wellington at 8:25am (ish) on Saturday morning, and we need to be there an hour before the ferry departs. We’ve asked lots of friends for advice on what route to take and where to stop. As a result we have decided to leave Auckland at noon, and then hoof it to Lake Taupo, which lies in the middle(ish) of the North Island here. This should take 3 to 4 hours, and should allow us to catch some of the scenery it offers before the sun sets (see here for an idea of what Lake Taupo offers). We will then have an evening meal and then get back on the road to Wellington for our next leg from Auckland to Wellington…

The Lake Taupo to Wellington leg, is the bit we will be doing in the dark and on a Friday night when all the nutters will be about, or least we have been warned, so we will be driving particularly carefully for this leg. The other hazard will be the desert road, which sometimes closes in winter with snow. We will check the AA website before we leave, and will take an alternative route if necessay.

Then, we will drive to one of the beaches outside Wellington and sleep in a car park before catching the inter islander ferry in the morning. The ferry journey is supposed to be out of this world. We will let you know… (UPDATE: we are hearing it could be choppy out in The Cook Strait thisweekend).

So that’s THE plan. Any tips appreciated, we’ve not really travelled far outside of Auckland, so we really haven’t a clue what to expect.

I love to plan (… holidays, my planning skills seem to be lacking elsewhere), and here is my MASTER plan for our week in the Nelson area (see below, I will try and correct the orientation issue). Myself, and Mrs. E, and The Spaniel will have a fab time I am sure. Expect radio silence for a week, and then lots of blog posts on our adventure.











TALLY Ho!,*cue my best middle England Brit accent (with a bit of Lancashire/Cumbria chipped in)*