Hi friends,

We made it to Nelson through some quite heavy rain, the clouds lifting and a weak sun shining through as we arrived.  We were warmly welcomed by friends with whom we stayed for aa couple of days and enjoyed an extended family bbq, walking in the hills above the city, lunch at a Winery, ice-creams on the beach at Mapua, a little shopping and a wonderful ‘Chef’s Choice’ dinner at the Boatshed Cafe. Although more rain was forecast, we were lucky again and the weather was beautiful.

Fine views from my friends’ house – morning light over the mud flats and the boulder bank.

View from the hill (named the Centre of NZ) above Nelson looking over the port and the mudflats.

From the hills looking south towards farmlands with mountains in the background.

Viewing the vines before our lunch at the Fossil Ridge Winery near Richmond.

It’s interesting that in NZ the red grapes are invariably covered with netting to keep the birds away.  But not the white grapes.

But this is what we were really there for …. 

Four wines to taste with olives and fresh walnuts from their own property, with mushroom filled crepes to follow.

In the evening, dinner on the terrace overlooking the bay, with the tide in, and all but covering the mudflats.

Pretty passable sunset over the bay.

Tide flowing out again and the pink sky reflecting in the remaining waters. 

The next day we ventured a little out of Nelson and travelled westwards along the coastline, stopping at some nice shops and galleries and choosing a pretty spot for lunch at Mapua. Nice memories for me as one of my sisters used to live nearby Mapua.

View along the Waimea Inlet at Mapua, further west along the coast from Nelson.

Fishing boat moored in the Waimea Inlet with Rabbit Island behind. 

Yachts moored in the Waimea Inlet, safe from the rougher waters out to sea, with the Nelson Hills behind.

The weather called for an ice-cream – fresh boysenberries swirled through vanilla ice-cream. 

Young Ollie has full concentration on his ice-cream.

Ice-cream demolished, Ollie turns his attention to fishing.  He finds a stick, a piece of string
and a small dead crab, 
and with a little help from John, he is ready for action.

Ollie fishing … nowt caught this time.

Lots of lovely little shops at Mapua – fresh fruit, sculpture, pottery and plenty more.

Just outside Nelson we visited the Höglund Art Glass Studio and Gallery, which presents a wide range of handblown platters,
vases, bowls, goblets, perfume bottles and glass jewellery. We admired some of the wonderful pieces and would have liked to buy as well, but not this time. Here are some examples of their fabulous work.

We couldn’t stay in Nelson without visiting one of the fine restaurants the city has to offer.  On the recommendation of our hosts we all dined at the Boatshed Cafe, sitting right over the waters of the bay.

The dinner was delicious. We chose the ‘Chef’s Choice’ and were presented with six courses, as good to look at as to savour.

Table set for four on the terrace with the junior yachties practising behind.

Larger yachts anchored in the now full tidal estuary.

The salad – a lovely fresh melange of red, green and white.

Then local green-lipped mussels with freshly baked bread. 

No, I’m not going to share each dish with you, but this was just to give you a little flavour of some local delicacies. The fish and then the beef were also delicious and although we didn’t need a dessert ……

For the next blog, we will leave the South Island and take the ferry from Picton, through the Marlborough Sounds, across Cook Strait and into Wellington Harbour to start the next leg of our travels and explore some of the North Island.