Christchurch > Nelson > Kaiteriteri…
If I regret anything from my South Island experience it’s not spending more time in Kaiteriteri. A place of abundant beauty, soft sunlight and warm sand. Another regret is not taking more photographs. The colours during the day, of toasty orange sands and glittering sapphire ocean, remarkable blue skies and lively green shrouded cliffs in contrast to the smooth violets and navies as the sun called it a night. The air was warm, breeze pleasant. It makes me smile to think of it.
The morning of the day we left, we got to kayak along the shoreline of the Abel Tasman national park. Though a couple of my bus chums snapped a few shots and took a couple videos I’ve yet to chase them up and I didn’t dare sacrifice my camera or phone to the waters in case we did, in fact, capsize. Despite the lack of evidence my memory still serves the trip true at the moment and the feeling I get remembering the place is enough.
There was no time to hike through the park but maybe I’ll go back there and live the wonder of it fully. The kayaking was a treat though and actually one of my most favourite memories of the whole trip. The weather was stunning, the water so blue, the instructors so fun and informative. They could tell us Maori tales and sprout facts (that could very well be bullshit) about the national park. They told us the legend of the split rock just off of its shores too, telling us to paddle over and touch it for luck. Me and my kayak partner, Erin, did just that. I vaguely remember it being about a feud, that some valuable possession once stood there and turned to rock over the years, split in two by a God to appease the squabbling pair. I’m sorry I can’t recite it fully, the story is at odds with various others I’ve heard about the split rock since and then those again are at odds with what I read on the internet. There is also a story with its origins in Greek Myth (which baffles me) that a couple other travellers told me back at the hostel, something to do with Zeus (isn’t it always?). As much as Greek Myth fascinated me, I prefer the Maori tale.
The traditions and beliefs of New Zealand’s people really do amplify the experience. I’m a firm believer in the magic of nature, of our earth and all of the stories and traditions that the Maori people are grounded in gave every part of my South Island tour such soul.