Kaikoura to Nelson

The rough plan was the next couple of days was to ride from Kaikoura to Nelson in a day, then either do a day ride to Takaka or back the next day, or to go to Takaka, spend a couple of nights there, then return to Picton the day after. The weather appeared to dictate the latter because I was going to get at least one rainy day and it made sense to do all the riding on the days before.

The route from Kaikoura to Nelson started off promisingly with a gorgeous coastal road past the ocean. I observed amusedly to myself that even though I hadn’t done Highway 1 in California, I was doing it in New Zealand! :) I stopped briefly at Oahu to observe the seal colony and spied quite a few baby seals. Cute!


After the road turned inland, it got pretty dull and I started to get bored. About an hour more of this and I finally passed through Picton. Soon after I entered the Queen Charlotte Drive was turned out to be half an hour of very tight 20-30 kmph corners. It really put my cornering skills to the test. At the same time, I quite found myself enjoying it. As usual, the only times I cursed was when I would see stunning glimpses of the Marlborough Sounds and there weren’t many places to stop and take a photo. I told myself I would take photos on the way back. The color of the water made me gasp. How do they get it that blue-green?!

Before I knew it, I was in Nelson where I got a dorm for the night at the YHA. They let me park in their garage so I had secure parking for the night. The dorm room was really neat too. It was huge even though it had only six beds in it.

The next day I would ride to Takaka and spend a night there.