The morning after arriving in Picton (first stop in the South Island), I found myself in Nelson. Nelson was (and is) much bigger than Picton but that’s not saying much because both are quite small towns! Nelson’s downtown is a few more streets though… so I’ll give her that! I spent the day in Nelson checking out the farmers markets (best apples ever!! They’re called “the pink lady”), hiking to a spot here called “the centre of NZ”- a 360 degree view of mountains, lakes and sheep! The night in Nelson was an early one because I was spending the following day in one of the most famous national parks in NZ called the Abel Tasman. Another girl from the hostel in Nelson was doing the full day trek so she invited me along and boy was I glad I went. Not only was it the most beautiful hike Ive ever done but it was quite strenuous as well so I’m glad I had the joyful company. At the end of the day, my friend and I bid farewell as we were going in different directions… I was heading further north to Takaka- the golden bay. I spent the next two days in Takaka – known as the hippie capital of the South Island. It was a really small town and I stayed in an adorable hostel where we did a potluck the first night and I was one of 12 vegetarians (never have I ever been a majority as a vegetarian!!!) I spent the rest of the next day in takaka cycling around the town, watching the sunset and star gazing. I am now back in Nelson for a night because I head east to kaikoura tomorrow. I can’t wait to be in kaikoura (whales, dolphins, sea lions and seals g’alore!!). I will be staying in kaikoura for a week because I’ll be working for my accommodation in a hostel there. More updates to come!