Next stop Nelson, New Zealand

I find a lot of inspiration from the places I travel to, and that’s why I share them here on my blog, to show you how these experiences can influence the work I make, whether it is a color palette (like the photo above taken just north of Greymouth with the violet-gray sky, soft aqua-gray-green water with a strip of steel blue, and warm-gray sand with a hint of sap green, be still my heart!), or the flora and fauna that catches my eye. But, also because this is like a personal journal in many ways, except I share it with all of you, lol. Very weird since, I’ve never been able to keep a diary and here I am 12 years later? still writing!

I am very lucky that my teaching has brought me opportunities to travel to places I couldn’t afford to go to on vacation. I have worked very hard to get to this point in my career (well-known in my field, yet still poor, lol) but seriously, I don’t take it for granted. If I can get to a place through a teaching opportunity, I want to do everything I can to see that part of the world on my limited budget. That can entail finding other opportunities to teach while I’m there, staying with friends as often as I can, and occasionally getting an airbnb. It doesn’t hurt that I also now have a partner that I can travel with on occasion who can share some of those expenses. 🙂 With that said, let’s continue on with the journey.

Phil and I took a bus from Greymouth to Nelson. A six-hour long amazing ride through mountain passes and steep gorges over winding narrow roads, in the rain, which we were very thankful to not be driving on ourselves. It was spectacular, but very difficult to get any decent pictures.

We arrived in Nelson at dusk and walked about half a mile from the bus stop up the hill to our airbnb.

One of the choices we made on this trip was to always book a room in a home instead of a place by ourselves. One of the joys of traveling can be the people you meet. I love to hear what people like best about the place they live and what they think you should see. I’m rarely interested in typical tourist destinations, I’d rather experience a place more like the locals do and know what life is like there.

The next morning we had coffee on the sunny balcony of our first airbnb overlooking this gorgeous hillside above Nelson.

It was lovely to see the sun and blue skies again, it had rained for most of the previous 10 days. After a cup of coffee we walked downtown to grab some breakfast and stop at the tourist information center to find the bus schedule and a map. Nelson is pretty easy to get around on foot and by bus.

.How can you not love a place that has giant squid painted on the sides of buildings!!!

Our plan for the day was to visit the WOW museum and Ronny Martin, a mixed-media textile artist and one of the tutors I met at symposium who lives in Nelson. Unfortunately she was laid up recuperating from a bad fall, she had just before symposium, that had been aggravated by being on her feet all week teaching. Lucky for us though, Ronny’s husband was headed out to the hardware store and offered to give us a ride to the museum, which turned into a fabulous one hour tour of Nelson, showing us the sights and history of the area.

One of the things that Phil and I noticed and appreciated about New Zealander’s is how proud they are of the beautiful place they live and how eager they are to share it with others.

After finishing our tour, we went to The World of Wearable Art Museum

These two ensembles were inspired by the layered Punakaiki rocks seen in my last New Zealand post.

The Wow museum also has one half of the space dedicated to classic cars.

So no worries for the couples that have a partner not interested in wearable art! Lucky for me, Phil appreciates all kinds of creative pursuits, but he also enjoys cars. 🙂

The next morning we said goodbye to beautiful Nelson (if you look closely there’s a rainbow across the bay) and boarded our next bus for Picton.
The busses in New Zealand are fantastic! They are comfortable and the whole way the driver tells you about the history, geology, and flora and fauna of each area you go through.

After three fascinating and informative hours, we arrived in Picton.

In the afternoon, we boarded the Interislander Cook Strait ferry to cross the channel between the north and south islands from Picton and Wellington. It’s a three-hour trip through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds and across the gap to Wellington harbor.

I was a bit nervous about this trip because I heard it can be very rough at times since there are two separate ocean currents that converge between the islands. I briefly regretted not booking a flight from Nelson instead, but the trip was smooth and completely enjoyable, with views of the spectacular landscape and deep blue green water.
About a third of the trip was across open ocean and that was the part that had worried me most, but it was smooth sailing and before I knew it… land ho!

as we entered Wellington harbor.


Stay tuned for my next post on Wellington.

Keep creating, Judy

IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.

5 Responses to “Next stop Nelson, New Zealand”

  1. Leah says:

    That museum! Wow. As much as I love a good natural history exhibit, give me some funky clothes any day.

    Loved Picton! We had a room in a home B&B with spectacular views of the water. The whole area is gorgeous. Keep sharing. No such thing as too many pictures!!

    • Hi Leah,

      I totally agree about the pictures, often I like them so much better than words. 🙂

      I have so much more to share from our trip (lots of pictures!) that I think it’s going to take me a month or two to make my way through each leg of the journey.

      Btw I hoped over to your blog, what fun!! I want to be retired and do traveling house sitting too. What great adventures you and Karen are having. I want to keep going back to see all the places you’ve been (and are going)!

  2. Joan M Wallrich says:

    Hi Judy,
    New Zealand looks like a beautiful land! The mountains, valleys and water coming all together in one place. I enjoyed looking at the museum photos, quite quirky in many ways! Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing, it allows one to see another country and it’s beauty.

    • Hi Joanie,

      the museum was a blast, they played video on big screens of the fashion show that takes place in Wellington each year. It was really fun watching the models walk the runway in those amazing outfits.

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