We had two goals for the trip: (1) spend a lot of time with Lynne and Patsy and show them some great parts of NZ and (2) see parts of NZ that we hadn't seen yet. The second goal took us to see the western and northern portions of the South Island, which required quite a bit of driving. Lonnie loves driving the roads in NZ because the views are beautiful and traffic tends to be light. The downside to NZ highways is that it takes longer to cover distance because speed limits top out at 60 miles/hour and you end up going slower in mountainous regions (like the South Island) where roads slowly wind their way.
When we arrived in the north end of the South Island, we had been traveling for 9 days and stayed in 5 different holiday homes or motels. We tried to break up the travel by not having to drive more than 4-6 hours in a day, but we underestimated driving times for a couple days. We probably overestimated the ability of Maya and Max to comfortably travel this much. They are really good at traveling in the car, but at this point they were ready to stay in one place for a few days. Our stay in Kaiteriteri, where we stayed three nights, worked well for a slowdown in the travel schedule. The holiday home that we rented in Kaiteriteri was perfect with plenty of space for all of us and kid toys for Maya and Max. They were thrilled to play with toys hang out at the house.
Kaiteriteri is a little beach resort near Abel Tasman National Park. Kaiteriteri has beautiful golden sand beaches, and you can catch cruises out of Kaiteriteri to Abel Tasman, which is really popular because it has a backpacking trail that can be done on foot or sea kayak.
For the first week of the trip, we had seen a fair share of rainy, coolish weather. Moving north, we were hoping for some warmer weather, and the forecast gave us some hope. Unfortunately, the weather didn't warm up a lot, and the water at the beach was chilly. We also ended up with some rough seas when we did the ocean cruise along Abel Tasman. We had planned on a couple hours of hiking in Abel Tasman, but with the rough weather, Lynne and Patsy offered to take Maya and Max back to the holiday home to play with toys (Max was desperate to just play). It worked out perfectly for Lonnie and me because we jumped off the boat and had a little date hike with Trent in tow. We walked along a short stretch of the Abel Tasman Track. Trent was perfectly content to be in his sling, and we enjoyed the beautiful views.
|Maya and Max at the beach in Kaiteriteri.|
|Lonnie with the kids at the beach.|
|After Lonnie got in the cold water, Lynne got up the courage and swam for a bit. Patsy and I just dipped our toes in.|
|Sunbathing after their brief swim.|
|Max was so happy to have play time.|
|More play time.|
|View of the estuary from the holiday home.|
|Maya and me in the estuary at low tide.|
|Getting on the ferry to Abel Tasman.|
|Split Apple Rock.|
|One of the bays along Abel Tasman National Park.|
|Beach in Abel Tasman.|
|View from Abel Tasman Track.|
|On our date hike.|
|An estuary along the Abel Tasman Track. This little spot was beautiful!|
|Trent slept for a good bit of our hike. He really likes to sleep in the sling.|
|Sweet, sleeping baby.|
|Near the end of our hike.|
|Beach where we were picked up by the ferry.|
|Bay in Abel Tasman.|
|Trent was very content on the hike.|