At the end of our 2-day West Coast drive, we stopped by the city of Nelson, which is just before Picton where we rode the ferry to the North Island. Nelson seemed to me like a nice place for Kiwis to retire and we proved this right when we spoke with a lady who moved out of Christchurch and chose to settle in Nelson (out of all the places in NZ) to get away from the quakes. I can definitely also settle in this place, although I think it’s too quiet for my taste. :D
We stayed one night at this cozy Tasman Bay Backpackers where we had the whole house to ourselves (even though we all stayed in just one room). We checked out early the next day so we can still have time to drive around before heading north again.
It was a complete coincidence when we passed by the sign that says we’re nearing the Centre of New Zealand, and of course, we didn’t have to think twice about checking it out. I mean, how often do you get the chance to be in the very center of a country? The view from up there was fantastic, too!
Before the 15-minute walk to the Centre of New Zealand, we walked by the Botanical Reserve, which I honestly thought was already the center until I realized we still had to go up a hill. Lol.
The Founders Heritage Park was our next stop where we saw and took pictures of interesting historical displays and creative artistry. Entrance fee to Founders is at NZD 7.00.
And oh, it was in Nelson where my traveling companions let me drive! I’ve been driving left-hand since I was 18 so I thought it was seriously going to be difficult shifting from left to right orientation, but it was actually not that bad. It just requires 100% presence of mind. :)