If you like a bit of ‘me time’ – a chance to enjoy your own company, reflect, contemplate, then follow me to the northern-most tip of South Island New Zealand!

I spent a melancholic time visiting Christchurch, but pleased to see the city’s plans for rebuilding since its devastating earthquakes of 2010/11. Headed off to Akaroa in search of dolphins and seals (not to be disappointed!)

…and then… I went off in search of myself, boarding the Trans-Coastal train in Christchurch, heading north to Abel Tasman. As the train track hugged this beautiful coastline, I watched the towns go by through the big picture window. We stopped in Kaikoura, home of fabulous whale watching tours, before the landscape changed to wineries, wineries and more wineries, when I left the train in Blenheim. I love train journeys, it’s all so comfortable – a hot breakfast at my seat at a big table – a great outdoor observation car and a full blown commentary of the journey with lots of information, facts and figuresate syd nz 2013 306x

At Blenheim I boarded a bus and continued my journey to Nelson – a drive of about 2 hours. I was leaving big towns and cities far behind and my view from my window was just mountains and pine forests.
Nelson is a lovely, typically Kiwi city. Lots of accommodation, small shops and bars, and a beautiful Anglican Cathedral. There are lots of tours to choose from here, for Nelson is the gateway to one of the most isolated and beautiful National Parks in New Zealand – the Abel Tasman.

I chose the boat trip – and this left from a little town, another 2 hours drive north, called Kaiteriteri. The boat travelling further north dropped off passengers at various beaches and bays, where we could walk, picnic, swim and explore. On its return journey, we would be picked up again from the beach. With no roads, or vehicles, we depended on trail maps and signposts to go ‘trekking’! Extremely well sign posted, but very few amenities like toilets and Costa coffee!

I often wonder what I will find if I go in search of myself… and the answer is, nothing at all! Just a lovely day of random thoughts, and unwinding with exercise and fresh air – away from mobile phones, traffic and pollution!

If you’d like to get away – find yourself like me, give me a call or email charmaine@hallmarktravel.com

….or meet me in the gallery!