Monday, the 8th of August 2011
Each New Zealand Winter we have experienced has been so unlike the Winters of the England we left behind in 2006.
In the Nelson region a New Zealand Winter is usually short and sweet. With mostly sunshine and blue skies as the backdrop to everything we do and see, including the snowcapped Mount Arther Range, the odd wet spell is not a big problem. The outdoor life, which in itself is one of the many New Zealand icons, still inlcudes walking the Abel Tasman National Park or the Heaphy Track, kayaking around the coastline of the Abel Tasman, horse riding along our stunning beaches or through our dramatic inland landscapes within reach of the start of the Southern Alps. This is not to forget biking in the Nelson region - cycling in the New Zealand Winter sunshine is a definite plus for me. Of course, there is skiing or snowboarding at the Rainbow Ski Field in the Nelson Lakes National Park which is within an hour's reach of Nelson. The added bonus of a New Zealand Winter experience is the joy of sitting by the wood burner in the evening with a glass of wine, preferably a Nelson wine, to complete the Nelson immersion.
The unique New Zealand culture is also to be encountered in the Nelson Arts scene, e.g., that New Zealand icon of the World of Wearable Arts museum or the exuberant work of Jane Evans, as well as tasting the various styles of Nelson wine, e.g. Neudorf Wines or Kaurangi Estate Wines. Making wine is in itself an art, but also Wine and Art often co-mingle in Nelson, e.g. see the Woollaston Winery for Visual, Performance and gastronomic events.
Nelson offers contrasts in light and colour at any time of the year, but none so much as during the New Zealand Winter in Nelson. Time and again a bike ride along the waterfront and around the estuary at Motueka is so exhilerating, both for the increase in our fitness levels and our spirits. We have the mountain ridge lines of the Richmond Ranges on one side etched against the clearest of blue skies and mirror imaged in the glassy pool of the Tasman Bay. Then we turn to see in the estuary the reflected contrast between the azure sky and imposing monolith of the Arthur Range. Such captivating and tranquil views.
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