Thursday, 25 November 2010


After our hike on the Queen Charlotte Track, aka the great run to the toilet, we headed further west towards Nelson.

We very quickly grew to like Nelson for a number of reasons. We found a lot of organic, fair trade and regional products even in the ordinary supermarket, we found quite alternative cafés and restaurants, including vegetarian one's, we found second hand stores and the flair of the town was quite but artistic. A really nice little place on the South Island. 

We dined at a café called Zippy's Café named after Zippy the pinhead a strange philosophical comic character. Nonetheless the food was great. There is no menu. The owner's simply cook delicious meals in their kitchen, which is then on display in a shelf. We went for some yummy zucchini rice.

Nelson also has real Internet Café with reasonable per hour costs. Just outside town, there is a skate park. Right next to it overnight camping is allowed. That's where we stayed for the night.
But before that we checked out the local visitor information centre and made our bookings for the Abel-Tasman national park in two days. Then we stocked up on some food and equipment for our next Great Walk, browsed some more through the streets of the city and then went to sleep.

The next day we decided to see some more of Nelson and looked for some open air museum called Founders Heritage Park, the brochure of which we had picked up in the i-Site the other day.

Founders Heritage Park

The Founders Heritage Park is an open air museum, where the people of Nelson tried to conserve the original buildings and the original flair of the old Nelson, when Nelson moved into a new age. A really nice idea that paid off quite well. The park is definitely worth a visit. Also what we liked best was, that as project carried by the people of Nelson, the entrance is free for Nelson citizens and some of the old buildings are still used by Nelson artisans, who decided to follow their trade in that style.

Thus you can buy real bread and confectionery at the bakery, real cloth at the tailor, real porcelain at the pottery, etc.

The old school house is also used as a real school for Nelson's children.

And the park grounds are used for festivals and other events. Check the Founders Heritage Park website's schedule for events.

Special care was laid to the old port, where a movie and plenty of displays vividly narrate the history of Nelson's port and the inseparable connection between the town's success and naval trade.

Also really cool was the display of an old Bristol Freighter with NZ invented cargon transfer system. The mouth of the plane could open and load cars or cargo. A special rails-to-belt system allowed incredible fast unloading and reloading time of 8 minutes till the plane could start again. The airline was called SAFE (Straits Air Freight Express) and for many years carried cars and cargo between the two NZ islands.

Bilge Rat immediately felt at home, sat down and read the newspaper

Well in the end your dear old Scallywag messed with the old Sheriff and was put on display....
while Bilge Rat instead of freeing me, went to the old Photographer's and asked him to make a nice portrait picture of her beauty...

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