With mid-semester break right around the corner it is always a good idea to start planning your trip ahead of time. Whether you are an international student looking to travel New Zealand during your short time here or as a kiwi who hasn't travelled much, I highly suggest checking out the Tasman area.
The Nelson Tasman region is just at the tip of the South Island, which means if you are living in the South Island and want to travel up north it is a great place to stop before you ferry over to Wellington. If you are from the North Island you can also ferry down from Wellington or there is always the option to grab a cheap flight out of Auckland.
As an international student travelling the South Island, I can say that Abel Tasman National Park is one of my favourite areas. I visited this area by going from Takaka and taking the Golden Bay Kayaks into the Abel Tasman National Park area.
You can hire these sea kayaks and check out some beautiful scenery from $60pp for a half day or $80 pp for a full day. Plus, by taking the kayaks you can see lots of sea life such as seals, stingrays and more!
Next, I went over to Cape Farewell, which is the very top point of the South Island. Here you can walk around or if you want to be more adventurous you can book yourself one of the horse treks! A 1.5 – 2-hour ride is around $100. You get to see lots of the nearby area and lookouts on this tour, and sometimes even some seals.
If you want to get a little bit more adventurous, there are a few things I suggest doing that I did not get to do on my journey here. One of them is the Golden Bay Scenic Flights to grab a more scenic look over the beautiful region.
Otherwise, for the extreme thrill seekers I suggest checking out Skydive Abel Tasman. You will see snow-capped mountains, vineyards, the lush national parks, the glistening golden beaches, surrounding blue ocean and both islands. No better place to jump from the sky if you ask me!
Now, for those of you who might not like adventure or the great outdoors, there are still plenty of options for you to check out in this region as well. You can always book yourself a Nelson/Tasman wine region half-day winery tour. The tour will take you to four wineries with wine tastings included. If you are not interested in taking the tour, there are tonnes of wineries in this area worth visiting on your own.
For the major foodies, there are a couple of places to check out such as the Boathouse Café for breakfast or brunch with waterfront views. Lunch at Jellyfish, which has great food and a wide range of local craft beers. To finish, grab some dinner at Burger Culture, which has fresh burgers for everyone. Don’t forget to also checkout Pics Peanut Butter World for a free tour, and grab a jar afterwards to take back home!
Finally, there are a couple of ways to end your night. If you are looking for luxury, I suggest checking out lodges such as the Stonefly Lodge for $420, which overlooks the Motueka River. If you are looking for a cheaper option you can always check out Tasman Bay Backpackers from $30.
Go adventure, taste, and enjoy!
Written by Kyrsta Binstock