Travelling to New Zealand? What To Do In Wellington looks at the wonders of Wanaka and the amazing Abel Tasman National Park. Here are some further personal thoughts about things to do and experience when on holiday in New Zealand.
Wanaka is a must if you are either driving or campervan-ing around the South Island. Wanaka and its eponymous lake are places you’ll want to return to again and again. The town is laid-back and a great place to spend some downtime, especially compared to its more action-packed neighbour, Queenstown. This said, lakeside Wanaka still offers numerous activities. One of the most popular is the “Siberia Experience” which begins with a scenic flight over Mount Aspiring, touching down in the Siberia Valley for a hike through meadows and beech forest to the Wilkin River Valley, where a jet boat takes you on an exhilarating ride back.
Before you leave Wanaka, be sure to visit the small Rippon Vineyard on Mount Aspiring Road. Rippon eschews herbicides or pesticides; all organic waste is recycled and spread back over the land during the first descending moon after harvest, creating some magnificent biodynamic wines.
Abel Tasman National Park
As well as the natural scenery, the climate in and around Nelson is delightful, it’s never too crowded and on top of that you are close to the wineries. Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park is on your doorstep which is a stunningly beautiful area, the park has sandy beaches lapped by clear waters and lush green bushland, inhabited by an abundance of wildlife.
You can hike the Abel Tasman Coast Track, a mixture of bush walking and gentle climbs, with water taxis to pick you up at various places, enabling you to pick and choose the sections you want to hike (or you could kayak along the shoreline). Staying at Awaroa Lodge is highly recommended, a perfectly situated place from which to explore the park and enjoy superb organic food.
Bridge and Wickers can organise a trip incorporating the Abel Tasman. The cost is from £409 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Nelson and three nights’ accommodation at Awaroa and Opoutere and Whiritoa to the south.
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