Mariri - Tasman Bay

Day 11/12, Monday 17th - Tuesday 18th 2003f November 2003

This will probably be our earliest "rise and shine" ever during this trip. We have scheduled a 06:15 AM whale watch excursion with "Whale Watch - Kaikoura New Zealand". The 3 1/2 hour tour promises to be a truely unique experience! This early is the best time of day to be out on the water. The young sperm whale bulls come here to feed and get through their puberty. Often jumping out of the water, basically showing-off and acting out that perfect postcard photo opp. After our spiritual whale encounter, we will have to make our way north to Mariri (approx. 6 hour drive), where we will stay 2 days at the charming Colonial Homestead, the Wairepo House, hosted by Joyanne and Richard Easton.

For our second day we have a "Guided beaches and bays seakayaking day trip" scheduled, hosted by David Wilson of Abel Tasman Wilsons Experiences. I'm sure that after this active day, we'll be delighted to taste Richard's anti-pasto platter, accompanied by a Nelson Chardonnay and stroll in the beautiful gardens surrounding the homestead.

Journal

Whale Watch Kaikoura

06:15 up bright and early, but the whale watch cancelled. Went back to bed in the Old Convent.
Later after breakfast, went back to Whale Watch Kaikoura and spoke to Heather.
Heather arranged a Maori tour with her husband Maurice (Maori Tours, max. 8 pers. in minivan).
It started poring with rain, but this tour is so interesting, and Maurice's style of telling the stories and history of his people is very captivating, highly recommended!
Around noon the tour had ended and we continued towards Motueka.

Wairepo House - Mariri

We called ahead because we were running a bit late again (we had a horrid KFC for dinner!)
Checked in at Wairepo House in Mariri at 19:00.
Host Joyanne is an absolute darling! Very comfy and large suite (spa bath), beautiful peaeonie and rose gardens, fruit trees, lots of birds... a little peace of heaven. Didn't manage to continue writing in the journal... again - too exhausted.

Sea-kayaking at Abel Tasman NP

07:30 early breakfast - Joyanne lent us towels for our sea-kayaking trip.
08:40 Kaiteriteri - check in for guided daytrip sea-kayaking in Abel Tasman NP. The weather looked great!
Small group (12 pax/2 guides), first took ferry to Torrent Bay where we got geared up and got our instructions...
Looking very silly, double kayak R at the front, JJ in the back. Sadly not the ideal situation to take pictures... Start peddling north towards Mosquito Bay. Saw New Zealand seals playing in the water and sea lions working on their tan in the sun, beautiful scenery!
Stunning turquoise water and yellow, golden sandy beaches. Had lunch at Mosquito bay (luckily without the mosquitoís): pasta pesto salad, sandwich, apple, orange, nuts, truffle, cookie, water.
Peddled back passed the Pinnacles (little islands) and made a raft of three kayaks and put up a sail to sail back. Were able to sail all the way back to Torrent Bay!
Had some time to spare, and had a stroll along the famous coastal track through beautiful bush (majestic treeferns) and amazing lookout towards the bay.
16:30 ferry back to Kaikteriteri.
17:45 back in Kaiteriteri (brochure from guide KT about Waka Tours)
Back to Motueka, had dinner at Hot Mama's: Pork Sate and smoked mussels salad, chicken tandori, local wine.
Back to Wairepo House for a hot soak in the jaccuzi (soar muscles and sunburn!).

Accomodation

Wairepo House

Weka Road, Mariri, RD2 Upper Moutere
Nelson - (South Island) NZ


http://www.wairepohouse.co.nz

Hot Mamas Cafe

105 High St
Motueka
NZ
03 528 7039


http://www.harlequin.co.nz/Menu/Restaurants/hotmamas.asp
Spectacular coffee and superb cafe food, magnificent murals of vibrant colour set the tone. Live music Fri & Sat.

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