The first 20 km from Nelson to Atawhai is a lovely ride along the Tasman Bay with most on a designated cycle road. From that point until Havelock, the road is hilly and windy with a narrow shoulder and a fair amount of trucks. En-route, we stopped at Rai Valley and devoured a fresh fruit ice cream. The owner of the campground in Havelock was not too friendly (maybe tired after a busy season) so we cycled on and found a beautiful motel with a mineral hot tub (nice and HOT).We also enjoyed a good home-cooked meal, and a great sleep.
On the following morning, ANZAC Day, we heard the bagpipes from the ANZAC parade and saw all the townspeople gathered around Memorial Hall. We cycled past and took a left onto Queen Charlotte Scenic Drive. We were about mid-way up the first hill when a couple we’d met near Mapua pulled over (They’d seen us cycling that morning) and gave us their contact information in Canberra, Australia, and invited us to stay with them.
Queen Charlotte Drive is lovely with very little traffic. We took lots of photos. As we were cycling downhill towards Picton we realized that we could probably make that day’s ferry to Wellington. We were the last people to get on the Interislander Ferry and patted ourselves on the back for our “good luck.” As it turns out, we probably would have been better to stay in Picton one night. It was ANZAC weekend plus a big cricket match so lodging in Wellington was scarce and expensive.