So technically I have two birthdays this year.. a New Zealand birthday and a Canada birthday. 😉
For the ‘New Zealand birthday’ I woke up to some delicious pancakes made by Kristi before I got up. She even put a candle in one for me! I spent the day like I have the other days at this WWOOF doing odd jobs around the house that needed to be done; made scones, did some painting, and weeding. I also had a chance to FaceTime my family and wish my dad a Happy (early) Birthday and check in with what was happening at home.
In the afternoon just before dinner, Paul had to get some groceries and offered to take me on his motorcycle. SO COOOL. First time I have ever done that and definitely not the last 😉 we ripped along some windey roads and I just grinned ear to ear – partly from the wind and partly because it was so freaking awesome.
In the evening we had seriously one of the most delicious meals I have had on this trip.. Steaks, potatoes, corn, green salad, brie & bread, and a beer. Post meal we had banana cake (my favourite) with chocolate icing decorated my William, Rachel and Kristi. Paul also gave us each a scoop of hokey pokey ice cream with it. Totally stuffed we relaxed the rest of the evening and turned in around 11:30. What a special day – I felt totally and completely loved.
For my ‘Canada birthday’ Paul made Hokey Pokey French toast again (seriously the best breakfast ever). I spent the rest of the morning packing up and helping to de-staple some fence posts that will make outdoor wooden furniture!
After lunch Paul dropped us off to the Mc Donald’s in Bulls where we were picked up by our Kiwi Bus.
We spent the night in Wellington in Base hostel – pretty standard. We originally planned on grabbing a drink or two as Wellington actually has about as many bars & cafes per head as NYC (fun fact!) but at 9pm both Rach and I were wiped so we bailed and had an early night.
We had an early morning the next day, we caught the bus at 7:10 which took us to the ferry terminal and we boarded the inter island ferry to THE SOUTH ISLAND. So exciting!! We spent the morning basking in the sunshine and gazing (jaws open) at the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. The Inter island trip reminded me of all the ferries that we took in Greece. Makes me think Holy Crap did that even happen? Was I actually in Greece 4.5 months ago? I feel like it was another lifetime. Crazy and super nostalgic… But a nice little reminder of how much Rach and I have accomplished and grown since then!
We drove through Picton and Nelson straight to Kaiteriteri which is a small town that we stayed in near Abel Tasman National Park. Unfortunately because of our tight timeline commitment to or next WWOOF in Hokitika we only stayed for one night.
The bus didn’t leave until 11:30 the next day so Rachel and I woke up early so we could get a quick hike down the coast to visit Stephen’s Bay. We were feeling pretty drained but it was so nice to get some exercise in before sitting on a bus for a majority of the day.
En route to Westport – our overnight destination – we stopped at Lake Rotoito for a picnic lunch. (More ham and cheese sandwiches.. Making things interesting by adding some avocado). Seriously a stunning little pit stop. I didn’t really realize until today how much I appreciate just getting on a bus, napping for 20 mins and waking up to another beautiful cute little pit stop. Even though some of it is touristy, I feel like we are constantly being shown little hidden gems of New Zealand.
We just arrived in Westport at our hostel, Basil’s. It’s super cool but there are a lot of beds in our room which means less privacy for the same amount of money… But on the bright side, new friends!! It’s also super artsy and just has a really cool vibe to it. There are murals that people paint to make the hostel look really cool and in exchange for their artistic contributions, they get to stay here for free! That won’t be me but I’m definitely appreciating the colourful walls.
I can already tell the difference in the South Island from the North Island. The Geography is so different. Our drives between towns are spent swerving down one lane seriously windey and narrow roads as we press our noses against the window (or rather Rachel looking out the window while I strewn myself over her lap from the aisle seat and point excitedly like a 4 year old – there is no such thing as personal space between us anymore) and peer out at these beautiful monstrous green mountains and enchanting valleys. We have been told that the North Island is a lot more cultural while the Southern Island is better known for the landscape. After seeing the Marlborough Sounds and the beaches of Abel Tasman, I can tell I’m in for a real treat. SO EXCITED for this part of our adventure. Tomorrow we head off to Hokitika for our next WWOOF working at a B&B called Drifting Sands.. I booked this WWOOF in August so I guess you could say we are a little excited to finally check this place out and meet our sweet host Claire!!
Sending love and will check in again soooon! ❤️