Last Thursday my family and I hopped across the ditch, back to our homeland of New Zealand to attend my cousin’s wedding. It was being held in somewhat of an isolated location, so required us flying from Melbourne to Christchurch, then on to Nelson, towards the top of the South Island.
We stopped there for the evening and caught up with some good family friends for dinner, which came with this for a view:
Not too bad eh?! The next morning we drove over out of Nelson and headed up and over the Takaka Hill, towards the area known as Golden Bay, and the town of Takaka where we were to be based for the weekend. The drive over was steep and windy, and we joked about this so-called hill being more like what Australians would call a mountain! The weather was constantly changing from misty and rainy to gorgeous sunshine, and luckily we got some of the latter when we stopped at some of the lookouts to enjoy the views over the lush, green countryside.
The town of Takaka is a curious mix between farming town and somewhat hippy holiday location, but thanks to the latter it does a great run of vegetarian friendly cafes and restaurants which meant that for the couple of meals we had in town I was inundated with choice! It had some cute little craft and jewellery stores too, and we all enjoyed a bit of a potter on Friday afternoon, after meeting up with my aunts & uncles.
Saturday was wedding day and due to the fact the service was being held on a remote beach in the national park, with the reception back in town, it was almost like military manoeuvres to get us all there and back on time! All 150+ guests were taken on a 45 minute journey across on this boat:
Which meant we got these kinds of views along the way – stunning!
My sister and I braved the spray for a little while and ventured to the top of the boat for a better view. We didn’t last long as the wind was pretty ferocious, but it was worth it to soak up some sunshine and get a better look at this gorgeous part of the world, which neither of us had visited before.
We finally made it to our location, and despite the howling winds it was definitely worth the journey, it was such a beautiful spot for the wedding to take place.
After the service, lots of photos and some champagne it was time to get back on the boat for the journey back to the mainland. Due to the fact the tide had changed this became a more complicated process and we needed to be ferried over to the boat on a smaller barge in 3 groups, and change vessels on the sand bar you can see in the photo above. Luckily we all made it across without getting wet, although the actual boat ride back was rather bumpy due to the wind – it felt like being on a rollercoaster the whole time!
Thankfully I don’t get seasick, although there were a few green looking people when we finally reached solid ground again!
The reception was back in town and featured meat and seafood that they had caught themselves – impressive! Obviously I didn’t partake in eating any of that side of things, but there was plenty to keep me happy too – including the wedding cake which tasted as amazing as it looked!
It was a glorious, but thoroughly exhausting day, and it was so lovely to be able to spend some time with my aunts and uncles, as well as some of my cousins. We figured out that the last time that my sister and I had been in the same place as all 5 of the cousins that were at the wedding (the groom and his 4 brothers) was in 2007! Far too long between drinks, that’s for sure.
On the Sunday we all drove a little way out of Takaka to the Te Waikoropupu Springs, which are a sacred Maori place, and the site of a number of very important Maori legends. The water of the springs is said to be some of the purest in New Zealand and it was an absolutely beautiful spot. The water is so clear, and bubbles up due to the springs, causing the sands to ‘dance’ and cause ripples.
To end our little trip away my sister and I did something we do every time we come back to New Zealand – ate a Jelly Tip ice cream! These ice creams remind us so much of our childhood that no matter what the weather is doing (and it was rather chilly at this point!) we always make sure we have one – and they are always as tasty as we remember!
Phew, that was a lot of photos! How was your weekend? Go anywhere new?