When we first came to Nelson in April, I worried about finding a weather window to the tropics by the time our visa expired near the end of May. A few neighbors, well-experienced cruisers, assured me not to worry, a window would surely come. It goes to show that there are just years when you can’t count on “dependable” weather patterns. In the end, we needed to extend our New Zealand visa and opted to do so by flying out of, then back into, the country. (Melbourne, Australia, was the cheapest option we found for this trip.)
Returning a few days later, we now had the time we needed, but we couldn’t ignore the changing season. It was disconcerting to watch the colorful leaves now falling, to wake up to snow on the mountains and colder temperatures, and to see local places lighting their fire pits at night.
We still hoped to get that weather window that would take us up the west side of the North Island and on to the tropics, but we had to start considering another option: hopping up the east coast of the north island and leaving from Tauranga or Opua. Other cruisers were starting to do just that, but we didn’t want to give up yet. We decided instead to do a small road trip, a final place to see before we left (and something to keep us from obsessing about weather). Again it was a tough choice, but in the end we decided to head to Marlborough’s wine country in Blenheim (which will be the next posts).
For the moment I want to mention one more interesting area in Nelson: the South Street Cottages, a small neighborhood of cottages dating back to the 1860s. These charming little houses have been saved from demolition, lovingly restored, and are now of a protected historical site. –Cyndi