So, Wellington was our last stop in the North Island (until we return in a couple of weeks on our way back to Auckland). This means that Kaiteriteri marks the beginning of my trip around the South Island.
I had heard good things about the South Island, however, having had the most magical time in the North I couldn’t help but question if my next half of the trip could be better or at least as good as the first. Any reservations I had, melted away like an ice cream in a pizza oven (yes, most of my metaphors involve food) once I arrived in Kaiteriteri. For lack of good enough words, I will let the below pictures explain why:
Most people on the bus were only stopping in Kaiteriteri overnight (as this is the Kiwi Ex recommended minimum), having done some research, I had decided that the place warranted a longer stay so I booked my accommodation at Kaiteri Lodge for 3 nights. NOTE: There doesn’t seem to be much of a choice when it comes to accommodation in the area, so if you are planning to stay here longer I would recommend calling in advance and pre-booking.
As the only stop in New Zealand which allowed us to have some beach time was Paihia right at the start of the trip, I was craving time in the sunshine. One of the perks of being a solo traveller is that MY every wish is MY command, so, I spent the duration of my stay covered in Factor 50 sunscreen, sprawled on the hot sand like a beached wale. I love La Playa :)
To recover from the arduous task of soaking up the sun on a stunning beach, I went for lunch at a really cute restaurant by the seafront. The food was gorgeous and so was the view...Pretentious Instagram snap of my lunch below:
And although it is too late to achieve the Giselle bikini body I was hoping to sport on the beach, I also went on a nice walk and came across another, more secluded beach.
One of the things I really regret, is that I didn’t go over to the Abel Tasman National Park, accessible from Kaiteriteri via boat. To be totally honest, I don’t even have a good excuse as to why I didn’t. I just got complacent and was too busy enjoying doing nothing. Going over to the national park involved doing a long walk and, well, sometimes I don’t want to be adventurous and walk for miles under the scorching sun simply because I am a 'traveler' and my prerogative should be to explore. Sometimes I just want to be a nerd and read my Young Adult Fiction novel on the beach, whilst half of my bum cheek sizzles and burns as result of not applying my factor 50 evenly across my lazy ass!
So ladies, I would advise you to do as I say and not as I do - Don’t be lazy when you are in one of the most stunning places in the world! If you do want more information about the park, head over here where once again my friend Ruairi was much more intrepid than me - I do call him Bear Grylls so I wouldn’t expect any less of him!
Ultimately however, don’t beat yourself up about doing what you want to do. I did for a few days after I left and then realised that when you travel over a long period of time, you will have days where you don’t want to do much, and that is ok. Even a princess needs to stay in her pyjamas once in a while.