As we left the Abel Tasman, with our new friend Ryan, we decided to hit a few spots along the way. The first was Labyrinth Rocks which was a maze-like network of canyons through the local ‘Karst’ limestone. As we made our way through the criss-crossing paths, I was expecting to see David Bowe jump out around the corner (Credit the Labyrinth movie from the 80’s)

Labyrinth Rocks

0W5A1636 (640x427)

Jordan spotted a ‘spray free’ kiwi farm and quickly pulled us over to grab a HUGE bag of organic kiwis (official count of 40!!) at the ‘honesty box’ for just $2! Craving some fresh fruit, he dug into a fresh kiwi – skin and all!

Jordan picking up his $2 bag of 40 fresh organic kiwis 

On our way to our campsite a couple days before we had passed this sign that said “Cave Tours – A middle earth experience’ and knew we had to come back. The fields of marble rocks amongst the sheep fields immediately felt like we were in a scene from The Hobbit.

Middle Earth field of marble rocks 

A sweet New Zealand lady took us on a tour of the Ngarua Caves, which was about a km long cave with beautifully lit cathedrals of stalactites. It was an great 45min tour for a great price – only $15! Jordan was even able to convince her to let him take videos (normally prohibited) as she liked his footage so much (using the Glidecam) that she wanted to use it as her promotional video in the little visitor centre.

0W5A1669 (640x427)
Exploring the beautifully illuminated Ngarua Caves 

0W5A1680 (640x427)

The accoustics were pretty incredible and apprently a favorite spot for opera singers to belt out a few melodies. The lights throughout the cave really helped highlight all the cave features, allowing you to really see all the details.

0W5A1684 (640x427)

As we made our way to Nelson, Ryan recommended the local Tasman Bay Backpackers hostel as a place for us to stay. Offering a private room (we got lucky), free wifi, hot showers, all you can eat breakfast and an icecream and chocolate pudding cake snack (I was sold after hearing that) it was an easy YES!

Enjoying the free icecream & chocolate pudding cake dessert at the Tasman Bay Backpackers hostel 

We even made it to a local pub, The Free House, located inside an old church where we had a beer and dinner with Ryan. I tried a tasty Pumpkin brew that had a delicious spice to it, and we enjoyed a great thin crust pizza the size of our table!

The Free House Pub Delicious table size Pizza 


Check out Episode 12: Ngarua Caves, Labyrinth Rocks & Castle Hill