Our bus was only at midday so I got up early to do a hike. After a quick breakfast and brief consultation with the owner I had route planned and I set off. It was a little cloudy but I hoped it would burn off and by the time I reached the top of the ridge patches of sun were starting to appear. I was rewarded with these magnificent views over Picton and the Marlborough Sounds.
After continuing down the other side and coming out by the marina I headed back to the hostel who gave us a lift back down to the ferry terminal where we were due to meet up with the Magic Bus. After waiting a while I went to check on the arrival time of the Kaitaki Ferry (as the Magic Bus would be waiting for others arriving that day) only to discover that it was delayed by two hours and would only be arriving at 14:30.
We moved inside the terminal and just read our books and took it in turns to go out and get lunch while the others watched our bags. Eventually the ferry arrived and we went off to find the Magic Bus.
Another new driver, this time it was Greg, who was very cool and very knowledgeable on the area with all sorts of information and a little tip about the Green Lipped Muscles that he said were delicious and very cheap, suggesting we should buy some if we got the chance.
It was a beautiful drive from Picton to Nelson with the road twisting down through pine forests to the coast and beautiful clear skies (a stark contrast to the last 5 days in Wellington). I got chatting to one of the other travellers, Karin (from the Netherlands), on the Magic bus and decided to stay four nights in Nelson instead of one as the weather forecast was good and it would give me a chance to see the Abel Tasman National Park which lots of people had told me was a must see attraction plus I had the time.
In Nelson we stayed at the Paradiso hostel which was very cool. I could see it being an awesome spot in summer with a swimming pool and beach volleyball court it was still enjoyable in winter as it had a spa pool as well as a sauna. They also offered free soup every evening at 6:00pm with unsold bread from a nearby bakery that made for a perfect winter dinner.