Islands and Mountains

Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes, South Island

It’s been years since I’ve travelled in Te Waipounamu (South Island, New Zealand) It is so worth the wait. It is literally like being in a different country. The bush, rock, ranges, mountains all seem a little unfamiliar. In some ways they are when the bush is predominantly beech and there’s not a plain in sight.

Headland at the entrance to Tory channel.

The ferry from Wellington to Picton takes around 3 hours. Maybe longer, I’m not sure but it didn’t seem long. I spent the whole trip outside because there’s a lot to see. It was windy as hell outside too. I’m not sure how fast the ferry actually travels but the smoke from the chimney was moving faster than the boat. The landscape is stunning with the Kaikoura, Aoraki and the Southern Alps covered in snow. I could feel that snow on my face, carried over a choppy sea of green, blue and white.

The source of Riwaka river
The Riwaka river

I spent my time in the top of the South Island, Motueka, Marahau, which is worth a blog of it’s own, and one night in Mapua. And as usual I had no plans of where I going to go or stay. That’s how I roll. I did know I had to stop at the river.

The Riwaka is beautiful, clear and freezing cold. Back in the day it was used as a place of healing. It still is of course and when you arrive it’s obvious why. It’s so peaceful, the air is crisp and fresh, there is continuous bird song and the river is the clearest, cleanest water you’ll see anywhere in the world. The Riwaka is about 10 mins out of Motueka heading to Tākaka.

I shot over the hill to Tākaka, went to the Waikoropūpū springs, which are famous for actually being the clearest water in the world. I think the Riwaka will be a very close second. And even though Tākaka has a great reputation, I wasn’t that impressed with the places to stay. Plus the clouds were heavy with rain. If I was going to be stuck in my car I at least wanted to be at the beach.


So I headed back over the hill to Mārahau. OMG what a stunning place. So stunning it deserves a blog post of it’s own.

So that’s my next post.

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