And so we head back up towards the North of New Zealand's South Island where we'll fly back to Wellington.
En route, we get the opportunity to attend a Hangi - similar in style to the one Pam and I attended in Rotarua. This one lacked the authenticity of the Maori Village of Rotarua, but made up for it through greater audience participation. Guess who got chosen to do the Haka?
Next, we head towards the Abel Tasman Park, an allegedly beautiful area of lakes and islets on the north shore. En route we stop off for a refreshing hot spring spa, and take a final adrenaline ride at Buller gorge - doing 'superman' impressions on a wire across the Buller river. Isobel jumps this time!
We've arranged for a days kayaking at Abel Tasman, and are taken to our launch point by a most novel form of transport...
We suit up (wetsuits, lifejackets, helmets) and climb into a speedboat which is on a trailer towed by a tractor. Next we're driven down the road a kilometre to the waters edge - then driven in... The tractors towing us out a few hundred metres before unhooking the boat.
A brief guided tour later and we arrive on a pristine beach where our two man Kayaks await.
We find a river inlet to explore, its low tide but our guide speaks with a few others who have just been up the channel and decides to take us up... All hell breaks loose - we capsize as we attempt to fend ourselves off a sand bar, fall out again after righting ourselves - we're having a great laugh.
On the way back out, another couple fall in as they get caught in the swell. Our guide is mortified - never has he had four people get so wet. We console him as he cooks us a fantastic lunch of New Zealand lamb burgers.
During our trip we cover around six kilometres in four hours. The waters of Abel Tasman are crystal clear and the coastline rugged and untamed. This really is the way to see the place - at water level.
We pass by a number of rocky islands, searching for elusive fur seals and watching out for dolphins and whales which frequent these shores - we see none of the above, but have a lot of fun looking around.
As the afternoon draws on, we turn back towards the beach we launched from - its a couple of kilometres away and we're starting to feel a little tired. But our tour guide has packed something unique on each Kayak - a little sail to aid our progress!
Half an hour later, we step out of our plastic missiles having thoroughly enjoyed the day. A perfect end to a fantastic trip.
We stop off in the port of Picton. But rather than catch the ferry back to Wellington, we opt for a short flight over the Marlborough Sounds.
Pictons airport is a tiny tarmac strip and a small shed, and quite amusing as they run it like a major international airport. Despite there being less than a dozen of us boarding the plane, we are checked in, given boarding passes and asked to wait in 'the lounge' - a selection of odd seats in one corner.
Here we have one last chuckle at the New Zealand vowel swapping accent as a young lad asks his dad "what's that smell?". His father replies that it's bovine excrement to which the young lad replies "Well, it STUNKS".
So long New Zealand... Kia Ora.