The eve of Christmas eve (for me at least!) seems to be a fine time to check in with you guys and give everyone a scoop of the naughty and nice things that have been happening in NZ. With Christmas literally right around the corner, you can almost feel the festiveness in the air.
By almost, I mean not really.
Christmas, although a global holiday, isn’t blown to ungodly proportions in New Zealand as it is in the United States. Honestly, it’s kind of a breath of fresh air. You don’t have Christmas commercials taking over your TV and Radios, and in terms of town decorations, there really aren’t that many. In fact, I completely forgot about Christmas until a waitress asked me if I had all my shopping done for the holidays. Of course I did!
Anywho, Nelson was a blast! I stayed for about a week and a half to work at a local Bed and Breakfast joint on the outskirts of town. It was a really superb place, with nice bay views and tramping tracks everywhere. I spent plenty of time exploring the area (including Rabbit Island), and even stumbled upon an open air market packed full of local produce, art, crafts, and food! And the best part? Much of the food at the market was much cheaper than in their storefront counterparts. Hooray for randomness!
Oddly enough, while walking thru the town, I stumbled upon the apparent “Centre of New Zealand”, which, as it might sound, is the geographical center of New Zealand. The photo above was actually taken from that spot, which lies high up on top of a hill, southwest of the city.
The top of the hill is actually pretty cool. It offers some nice 360 degree views of the entire area, as well as this more-obvious-than-not pointer compass…..thing.
At the bottom of the hill are some really nice public gardens that you can take a stroll through. Many of them have walkways that follow along different lakes and streams. One of the parks (whose name currently escapes me) had this awesome replica of a Japanese garden. The floor was made from inverted stones (stones standing upright instead of laying down), and the walls and floral decorations looked like something straight out of 19th century Japan. And even though Nelson is a decent size city (and it’s currently summer time here), the park was empty. I was one of about 4 or 5 people taking a stroll through it. And the park wasn’t small either. I’d guess it to be around 5 to 6 acres.
Nelson also had some nice beaches, and plenty of bay area to do your favorite water activity. Many of the locals here are renown for being huge water sports enthusiasts, and will gladly invite you out onto the water with them!
Welp, that’s about all I have for this one folks. This will most likely be my last update before New Years, so if I don’t catch you guys before then, have a wonderful Christmas and New Years! I’d like to personally thank all of you guys for following along and supporting me on this journey. It means a lot!
When I decided to design and post this website, I didn’t think it would get many followers or views. I remember thinking “Even if I only get 3 views per day, that’s not bad. At least I’m able to share this experience with someone out there”. Well, the site has proven to be more popular than I thought, as I’m happy to say that since I started this trip, the website has accumulated more than 1,500 views! Now….. 1,500 may not sound like a lot. In reality, it’s not. But when you’re brand new to the backpacking business and started your own website from scratch to share your stories with, you’re happy to get even 100 views a month. So, moral of the story: I am happy with the progress of the website so far, and am grateful for everyone that gets a chance to follow along and see what’s happening. I owe all of you!
Until next time my friends…..stay frosty (especially my American friends! Ha!)
– Phantom Out.