Post-Queen Charlotte Nelson “Holiday”

January 7 to 11

After finishing the Queen Charlotte track, we planned for Jack, Sam, and I to head into Nelson to wait for Shepard to finish up traveling around with his Mom and girlfriend, Carder.

Sam’s post explains hitching into Nelson, the coastal town from which we’d be shipping our next few weeks of food to the more remote locations to which we’ll be traveling.

After we settled into our Hostel (Sam explains the frustrating bed-finding mission), caught a movie, pizza, and crashed for the evening, our first order of business was to buy up all the food we’d need for the next month or so.

Helpful info: We decided that we wanted to carry 9 days through from Pelorus Bridge to St. Arnaud.  We decided to ship 6 days to St Arnaud Alpine Lodge, 6 days to Boyle River Outdoor Ed Centre, 5 days to the DOC site in Arthur’s Pass, and 7 days to Lake Coleridge Lodge, at which we also booked a room for the night.

We set off for the Countdown and ended up needing to hit up the New World AND Fresh Choice in order to meet the appropriate numbers.  Eventually, we finished buying 33 days and we carted it back to our dorm room at the Royal Hotel hostel.

The post office closes at 1:00 on Saturday, so we needed to store the food in our room until we could ship it off on Monday.  We boxed the food and slid it under our beds for safe keeping.

Afterward, we made moves on our initially speculative plans to go Canyoning on the Torrent River.  We rang the Canyoning company and booked 3 spots for a sweet all-day canyoning adventure.  Thank you to Sam’s parents for gifting the awesome trip, we had a total blast.

Canyoning ruled.  After two van rides and a boat ride into Abel Tasman National Park, we hiked to the top of the Torrent River with our harnesses, helmets, and ropes, ate some sandwiches, and prepared to hop in the river.

Our guides were very sweet (Thanks Mark and Rosy!) and explained Canyoning thusly: we travel down this canyon river by means of jumping, sliding, swimming, rappelling, and ziplining.  A day very well spent!  

Back from Canyoning later that evening we were quite exhausted and went to bed but not before cooking up some epic Chicken Fajitas in the hostel kitchen.  Best meal we’ve made ourselves so far.

The next morning was mail time.  We had over 100 kilos of food to ship ahead and knew that once those boxes were over the counter, we got to feel some sweet relief.  Calvin, our new friend we walked some of the Queen Charlotte track with, helped us carry our 4th box to the Post Office.  They were very heavy (each containing food for 4 people), and they were priced accordingly.  Each one was around $30-40 to ship, totalling approximately $150.

The line that built up behind us reflected what we felt to be the gravity of our project.

After shipping, we decided to move out of the hostel.  The Royal Hotel, while lovely, was $25 a night, a price we did not need to be paying anymore now that our boxes were gone.  We loaded up our 9 days into our packs, slipped the key under the downstairs pub door (as is procedure), and headed off toward the bus station.

That afternoon we settled into Tahuna Beach Holiday park for just $10 a night.  Ocean breeze and views just a $2 ride from downtown Nelson.  Sweet.

We each wandered around the beach and local area, eventually coming back together around 4:30ish.  By dinner time we were feeling quite like fish n chips, so we hit up the spot right next to the holiday park. Great.

The next real thing on our agenda was to go run some errands in town, and eventually meet up with Thomas, Jack, Nathalie, and Maddy, friends from back home who are taking time off from school in NZ.  Thomas finished up a NOLS course in the South Island a month ago and knows Nelson relatively well, so we all met up at his recommendation: Free House, a sweet bar in an old chapel with crazy good beer and outdoor seating.

What a fun reunion.  I don’t think we all went 5 full seconds without a full, hearty laugh.

We walke around town for a while until we found that Vic’s Macs Brewbar was airing the Clemson v. Alabama game.  We watched the surprisig Clemson victory and headed out for some Thai Food.

We parted ways for the night, deciding to meet up for breakfast the next morning before heading to Pelorus Bridge, where we’d all say goodbye again.

After a sweet breakfast and some quick phonecalls saying bye to family for the next week, we piled into Thomas’ old Toyota van “Roxy” and drove for about an hour to Pelorus Bridge.

We spent the afternoon swimming in the river and waiting for Shep.  Our friends headed back to Nelson and we got set up at the campground and began winding down for the day.

After dinner, we got ready to crash early in preparation for our first day headed into the mighty Richmond Range.  After an awesome vacation, we are ready to get walking again.


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