Sunset and Moonrise at the Matakari Lodge in Queenstown

New Zealand ’17: Day 10 – Abel Tasman National Park to Nelson (Sat)

Lodging: Matakauri Lodge
Date During Trip: July 8, 2017

We had a leisurely morning. I figured out how to use that weird, new-fangled coffee/espresso maker—after several horrific failures. The silly little single serving coffee container goes in sideways of all things! Anyway, Steve had 3 tiny cups of coffee.

We drove to the tiny little Nelson Airport, which, especially for its size, is insanely busy! I had a crepe with cheese and ham and spinach. Oh my! It was delicious! This airport is a beehive of activity, but security is non-existent: no scanners, no lines, no remove this/that/the other. This is what travel was once upon a time. Just show your boarding pass, and get on the plane. Oh, walk out to it on the tarmac first.

Flights were delayed apparently, causing the large crowds. Our flight to Christchurch was pretty much on time. For the first time in my life, from the plane, looking down on top of the clouds, I saw rainbows that are complete 360º circles! I didn’t know such a thing existed, but, apparently, it does.

The airport at Christchurch appears to have had a very nice make-over or rebuild. Its beautiful undulating wood ceiling inside is striking.

The views out of the (prop) plane window were wonderful. We were just barely able to get my suitcase up under the seat in front of us. Winter holidays just started, and everyone is off to the ski slopes. The Queenstown airport was a beehive hive of activity as well.

We got our rental car, and I realized I accidentally left our magnet (to hold the iPhone for navigation) in the other rental car’s HVAC vent. 🙁 We purchased a window mount when I realized this.

The drive into Queenstown was especially jammed with cars and pedestrians. It was bad on our last visit. It was “diabolical” (To use Andrew’s word for the traffic in Auckland) this trip.

We got to the Matakauri Lodge just as the almost full moon was rising over the bay at sunset. Gorgeous. The valet was waiting for us, to take the car and the luggage. This accommodation gets every detail exactly right. Steve said the travel agent wanted to make other arrangements for us, but he insisted we were staying here. I love this place. I didn’t realize how much he loves this place, too.

Our room is identical to the one we stayed in last time, just inverted/flipped: fresh flowers over the bed and on the desk, easily-accessed electrical plugs in the exact right places including 4 over a counter in the luggage and closet area, easy access to the luggage in a separate area to keep the space uncluttered, the roaring fireplace—every single detail.

I had remembered this place in great detail from our previous stay, but I couldn’t recall the shower. It’s also nice, tucked away behind the door into the bathroom, and what a bathroom it is! The large shower head (which can also double as a hand-held) gushes a vast amount of water but not so intensely the pressure removes a layer of your skin. They have large containers of fine shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that don’t require a vice grip to get out.

We stopped by and talked with Olivia who booked the TSS Earnslaw boat ride for us on Monday and will setup a helicopter ride with Over the Top over Milford Sound for us tomorrow, or Sunday. Tuesday we’re supposed to have snow.

Dinner was divine. Again, the service here is just impeccable. After setting up the devices to charge, we crashed and died around 9:30pm.


For a synopsis of all of the posts from this 2017 trip to both the North and the South Islands of New Zealand, with links to each post, click here. The posts listed in the OTHER RELATED POSTS HERE @ TT.US (below) may include posts from our 2014 trip.