Something I try to do while I am in New Zealand is to take advantage of the rental car and camper relocation deals that are offered by many of the rental companies. I have done so for many years before it became mainstream and was available as an online service. This year I took the opportunity to relocate a car to Nelson and in the 48 hours that the agreement lasted take the opportunity of caching in the Greater Nelson area then once the car was dropped off, to concentrate on the more centrally located caches.
I have friends in Nelson who kindly offered me a bed for a few nights so on Wednesday morning I picked up a Toyota Aurion at Christchurch Airport. It’s not a model I am familiar with but it was a large car with plenty of go. The trip from Christchurch can be done in two ways. The inland route goes through Hanmer Springs and Springs Junction whereas the coastal route which is more scenic goes through Kaikoura and Blenheim. As I would be returning to Christchurch on the bus and that takes the coastal route I drove up on the inland route. I only made one stop on the way up and that was to grab Fishers, a cache I had DNF’d five years ago to the day.
Once I got to Richmond, which is just outside Nelson I started off with three Kiwi-Nomad caches. He is a cacher who is a constructor of creative caches. With the risk of revealing too much I will mention the caches I found this time. The first was Aroundtwoit which was a rather simple hide if you know K-N’s devious mind. Luckily I have found another twenty plus of these highly recommended caches over the years and was sure where to look. The second was PLUNGER, a cache, that I have looked for before in 2008 but with no success. I have no idea why as it took me no time at all on this visit. Just goes to show how different views on the same place can be.
Click on picture to see Plunger spoiler
So now with two K-N caches under my belt I moved on to one of his new creations called Money Box. Showing the opened box will I hope not reveal how to open it!
Click on picture to see Moneybox spoiler
On day two in the area I took a drive out into the countryside to the north west with no real goals other than to do some sightseeing and find a few caches. It turned out to be a day with more multicaches than usual, five in all. A couple of them were really fun to do. A couple of memorable ones were Up a Moo Tree
Settler’s cottage exterior
Settler’s cottage interior
Up the little valley road that Uncovered took me to, not only did I find New Zealand’s only hop growing area but also a Tibetan temple!
Motueka hops – this is the only area in NZ where they are grown
Stupa at Tibetan temple
On day three I dropped off the car at the airport and walked 15 km back into Nelson
Route and elevation of my 20 km Nelson walk
collecting a few caches on the way. When I got back to my friends place I dropped off the stuff I was carrying – new Systema containers that will be put into service in Sweden! – then walked by a road full of beautiful flowering jacaranda trees up a nearby 170 m hill to the “Centre of New Zealand”.
Colourful jacaranda trees in Nelson
Monument at “The centre of New Zealand”. The embellishment arrived the same day I visited. Not related!
One of my friends had walked up earlier in the day so was very surprised to see the photo I took of the monument. The bike was not there earlier in the day.
Again I found a Kiwi-Nomad cache that was a good one GC1KM28 Neale-Park-View.
Nelson as seen from Neale-Park-View
On day four I took the bus to Blenheim then changed to a new bus to Christchurch. The journey takes just over 7 hours with a break for lunch in Kaikoura.