Our New Zealand land adventure begins

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Nelson Region
November 23rd 2007
Published: November 25th 2007
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Flying into Nelson from Auckland on a prop plane makes our long awaited New Zealand land trip feel like an adventure. Peering down from the sky, we see black sand beaches and miles of farms neatly parceled out into the landscape as the plane crosses over the North Island. Then, we’re over water on our way to the South Island where the turquoise water off the Nelson coast reminds me of a South Pacific Island lagoon.

After exiting onto the tarmac at Nelson, we walk to the small terminal. Our guide, Robert Panzer, says hello, then leads us out onto the sidewalk where all the passengers’ luggage is piled onto a large cart sitting on the sidewalk. We have definitely entered another world!

We get to know Robert on the drive to Shelbourne Villa , our accommodations for the next two nights. He points out city landmarks before pulling through the rose-laden gate of the bed and breakfast.

The old house is beautifully decorated with artwork representing New Zealand artists. The quilts on the wall are made by Val, one of the owners. I especially appreciate the Christmas decorations that she has on display since our trip will keep us from decorating this year.

After depositing the luggage into our room, which looks out on the front garden, Robert leads us on a walk through town. We stop at Café Oasis for a light lunch, then walk back to Shelbourne Villa to settle in before joining owners, Val and Wayne for wine and snacks.

We spend an hour talking about all sorts of topics and comparing our ways of life.

Then, Alan, Robert and I walk to Hopgoods Restaurant for dinner. The Grouper is delicious and we sample a wonderful Pinot Noir made near Nelson.

We walk back to the bed and breakfast, where Alan and I say a quick goodnight to our hosts. After 24 hours of traveling, it’s time for a nice long sleep.

To read more about our New Zealand trip planning, visit this page at my blog about baby boomer travel, My Itchy Travel Feet .

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