From north to south: Wellington to Nelson, New Zealand

If I had a magic wand, I would have made every day we spent in New Zealand a Saturday or Sunday.

Every day is a holiday for food lovers in this country but weekends are particularly special, with many famers’ markets and specialist food stalls opening all over.

Appetites whetted and hangovers cured courtesy of Napier’s Saturday market, we started the journey down to Wellington, already looking forward to a repeat performance the following day.

Wellington’s food market is every Sunday on the waterfront. Not a bad setting for all the hustle and bustle!

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Repurposed Morgan, now with a charcoal barbecue feature.

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Delicious dumplings:

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Packaging porn:

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Before we arrived in Wellington I pumped Beth from Eat and Greet for top tips and was led to a craft beer and hot dog matching event at a local bar, Golding’s Free Dive. Such a fun idea, would love to see something like this in London.

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Once our bellies were full we spent a couple of hours browsing the excellent Te Papa museum, complete with an earthquake simulation room.

Central Wellington:

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Mark and I stayed with some cousins on my father’s side of the family who were so welcoming and generous, even though I was a little girl the last time we met.

Margaret is a great cook and we ate like kings at her home, which made it hard to leave…next time I will have to stay longer to explore more (both Wellington and her recipes). Thank you Margaret, Peter and family!

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But with time ticking on and a date with the ski slopes down in
Queenstown, we had to push on. The crossing on the ferry from the north to the south island was beautiful – even dolphins came to play.

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Feeling very fortunate to be related to such lovely people down under, we received an equally warm welcome from the Dukes faction on the South Island.

Paul & Nic, thank you for having us, we loved spending time with you and your boys. And what a view you have every morning!

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One of the highlights of the Nelson area is the Abel Tasman national park. We drove there for a day of hiking through the pretty scenery.

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Native bellbirds could be heard overhead (listen here). They sound strangely electronic; the first time I heard them I thought someone’s phone was bleeping.

Split apple rock:

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Even with long walks, not to mention the adrenalin sports and skiing in New Zealand, the country’s fantastic food has definitely had its inevitable effect on our waistlines…

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