First we got picked up and driven to Kaiteriteri where the boat leaves from. This has been one of the top beaches in the world and was pretty stunning with golden yellow sand – this is before we even get into the national park
. The boat takes us up passed some islands and to see some seals before dropping us off in Tonga Bay. From here we have 18km hike to our hostel so we get going pretty quickly. We walk past lots of beautiful deserted beaches, inland through forest areas and up a river to some pools. A bit hillier than we were expecting for a coastal walk but all the better for the views. I even tried the water but still a little cold at this time of year – let’s call it refreshing. Finally we get to our hostel (Aquapackers) which is a floating hostel, as in it’s on a boat in one of the bays. We wave from the beach to get picked up and they come and collect us in a small rubber dingy. The boat itself is basic, we were in a seven bed dorm but spent the time enjoying the last of the sun on the top deck drinking wine that I had carried all day and then they provided a BBQ for dinner – this included as much steak and sausages that we could eat, so we were quite happy. We spent this rest of the evening chatting and finishing off the wine as I wasn’t prepared to carry it any further! We enjoyed staying in a hostel that is a bit different to the norm, and enjoyed the slightly higher level of service than we have been used to... they even wash your dishes!!
Next day we were up early naturally (as everyone else got up to do different activities) while we walked around the Pitt headland and down to another beautiful sheltered beach
. From then on we walked out to the Marahau, the entrance point, we passed many more beaches and the track was a good bit flatter which made another enjoyable days walking plus the sun shone for the whole of the two days. We treated ourselves to some well earned food when we finished the trail – at the Park Cafe. Jonny also treated himself to a Monteiths Dark Ale, his favourite New Zealand beer to date.
Back to Motueka, we stayed at the White Elephant Hostel who gave us a couple names to try to look for work. After visiting the government work agency and the tourist office who were both pretty negative on the chances of finding work, we weren’t particularly hopeful. We cycled up to a Peter Inglis Fruit Company who asked us when we could start – we said as soon as possible. We started at 12.30 that day and worked for five hours thinning kiwi fruit plants. It’s hard work but at least it’s paid by the hour and we don’t work in the rain which is why I have finally found the time to update the blog – work got rained off today. So it looks like we’ll be here until the end of the week and then will have to make a decision on where to go next!
We moved westwards to Nelson which has been voted one of the New Zealand's most liveable cities – and it’s nice but nothing too special, it’s a good base for some of the national parks in the area. We spent a day exploring and then decided to keep going on to Motueka. Motueka is known for farmland and so we were hoping to get some seasonal work here. Again the local bus driver not only dropped us off outside the hostel but drove up the drive and dropped us off at the door – I do like this service. But first some fun and we head off to do the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. The Abel Tasman National Park is a coastal reserve and a 50km hike. We did about 30km over two days as we didn’t have the equipment for camping overnight.