Stray’ing South Island

I bought a two weeks bus pass from Stray (a hop-on hop-off bus) to go around the South Island NZ in November. I flew in to Auckland and then took another short flight to Christchurch. The bus came to drop off passengers and pick up a few new passengers, and off we went. Our first stop was supposed to be Kaikoura (famous for whale watching), but unfortunately there was a major earthquake the week before which cut off major road infrastructure to the town. So we went to Nelson instead.

Several of us from the bus took a hike up the sunset hill; it was a steep climb but well worth the effort for the beautiful sunset.

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This place is proclaimed by the locals to be the ‘center point of New Zealand’.

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The next day we left Nelson to a cute little seaside town of Picton. The ride was beautiful with some areas dotted by wineries. We made a quick stop for chocolate and wine tasting.

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Chocolate covered cookies were good but pricey.

We got to lovely Picton just in time for lunch. There are numerous restaurants and shops in town.

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After a lunch, my friend and I decided to hike the Snout track. The entrance to the trail wasn’t well marked (or it could be we suck at reading map), but somehow we ended up on a trail with not much scenery!

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It was a hot day in the sun and there was hardly any shade. After what seemed like forever, we managed to figure out to get to the other side of the trail along the coast. It was a much more beautiful hike.

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We were exhausted by the end of the hike but we were happy we got to hike this beautiful trail.

The next day we woke up early to hike the Tirohanga track hoping for a good sunrise and view of the town. But it was so cloudy that we could hardly see anything from the top.

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After the hike, we biked up Queen Charlotte Drive to get a different view of the town.

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Next stop: Abel Tasman national park.

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