We left Abel Tasman yesterday with beautiful sunny skies and the temperature around 20 degrees. Last night we hit -2 and today we’ve experienced snow, rain and sunshine. Really experiencing the 4 seasons a day!

We woke up and made us instantly a cup of coffee. The blanket we got with the van is a little too small for two people. So when you combine that fact together with temperatures below zero. You can conclude that sleeping in a van doesn’t make you feel comfy!

Mount Robert

We drove to the Mount Robert looptrack and al you see is trees trees and even more trees until you reach the Nelson Lakes National Park. The track is located by the beautiful lake Rotoiti. It is located above the beautiful shores of this lake.

Moment of arrival a DoC ranger and keeper of the campsite came through us with the question if we were properly equipped because on the top it’s gonna be bad later today. Well of course we said and showed our gear with a wink ? We parked our van en got out for a new adventure! The track is fairly easy but I thought some parts were quit steep, but my girlfriend won’t agree with that I think?

We did the track clockwise and thinking back that is the best way to do this track. It brings you through the forest and then above the treeline you get great non-stop views. Halfway we got again in a small forest. Not as beautiful as the first lower forest but now imagine this forest covered with a bit of ⛄️. Yes we were lucky to catch some snowflakes at the highest part of the walk! And then I got lucky the way back to the van was kinda steep going through a forest again. So no climbing but going down at the hardest part yeah!

Autumn tunes ?

From Mount Robert back to the eastern parts of the north coast. We’re getting close to our ferry transport from the south to the north island.

We wanted to drive the Port Underwood road a drive along different beach coves. Before we got there we had a very scenic drive through vineyards for miles and miles long. Leaves already started to turn from green to yellow. Amazing scenery if you’re only used to small French vineyards. The only break we allowed for our self was a refill at the supermarket for gas and new food supplies.

Monkey bay and the whoosh cave

The first stop was Rarangi beach. Damn this beach is loooong! Black sand with gravel making a lot of noise with the waves crashing in. ?

Next to this beach we found a little cove called Monkey Bay. Just got there in time few minutes over high tide. So the beach got bigger in this cute little cove, but we’re also lucky to hear the deep bass wooosh generated by a cave with a connection to the ocean somewhere. Waves rolling in created this nice sound. We grabbed a muffin and enjoyed the sounds of it while sitting on a rock seeing the sun gets down behind the mountain. ? Sorry still not used to see the sun not going under water!

Cave exploring

Next to the entrance for this cove we found an entrance to a small cave behind some trees and bushes. First encounter in wildlife with a huge Weta. Pre historic insect only living in New Zealand. Looks scary but doesn’t harm any people. There are 70 different species living here but close to extinction… ?

Back to the cave this one is actually man made by A man calked Daddy Watson. He started digging to create a tunnel to a cove along the mountain but never got there. But it’s a 60 metres deep and as a little surprise we spotted some glowworms?

After we got out we needed to find a camping spot along the road. So we could stay at the payed campsite at the Rarangi beach or start with the fun. Why fun with a coastal road? This one is scenic, steep, small, winding and most part a gravel road, so that’s why fun! Oh and it is leading through Picton in the end to catch our ferry.

Robin Hood bay

We found a nice spot in a bay called Robin Hood. With a sandy beach, smashing waves and a grassy campsite. But more for tomorrow the day ends here.