Our goal is to spend some time in the Abel Tasman National Park – but to do this, you need to go through Nelson, and why not enjoy it on the way!
Nelson as a food bowl – in autumn the orchards dripping with apples, homegardens dripping with fruit, we were soon ladened down and are offered far more than we can carry, so sadly had to say no.
I was keen on cycling – there are some fabulous new cycleways in the area – I Googled (as you do!) and found that we could combine a cycle hire with a ferry to rabbit island near Mapua which sounds perfect. We drive to the wharf area and find Lisa Mann and her bikes. With partner Nicky McBride they run Wheelie fantastic cycle hire Both from Northern Ireland, they have washed up here in Mapua, setting up this cycle hire/transport on the Nelson/Tasman cycle ways. More about our cycle trip Here
Friends of Mapua Wetlands
David and Judy Mitchell are retired, but in name only. As part of the Friends of Mapua Wetlands they are restoring local wetlands, including 1 ha of their own property, working with neighbours and the local school to design the area, grow eco sourced plants, plant the area and keep it accessible and clear from weeds. Once a bare sheep paddock – I see one next door, and can see the utter transformation.
Their hectare is fully planted with flax, grasses, native reeds, cabbage trees, manuka many of them rare and kahikatea are making their comback. This used to be their domain – the lowland kahikatea forest was the first to be removed by early european settlers to produce these fertile horticultural lands which are one of the food bowls of New Zealand. and the name Mapua which means abundant, refers to the huge amount of fruit kahikatea used to produce, which provided such abundance for native birds.
In 2009 they won an award for their project won the NZ Plant conservation award.
Accommodation near the Abel Tasman
I have emailed for the folk who run Rowan cottage for years, lovely finally to meet the folk who run it and tonight we are staying. Jane from Blue Moon is also there, we share a drink and talk about how business is going for them. they are both part of our Women Travel Accommodation network which began in New Zealand but now spans the world! More on our stay at Rowan Cottage.
- More on our stay at Awaroa in the Abel Tasman National Park
- Women’s Accommodation in Nelson and Tasman