Traveler’s Digest traveled through New Zealand in 2002, for two enchanting months. There were three of us on this Pacific tour and we were great friends. In this magnificent land of contrasting beauty, it was not hard to remain as excited as a child in Disney Land. Here, the senses are overwhelmed and the visual effects last a lifetime. My name is Mike Smith. I am the touring editor and constantly travel the globe. My job is to search for beauty, unusual adventures and places that open channels to our souls. Places that make a person feel that it’s an honor to be alive. When I was a child, I always knew in my heart that I was a wanderer. The Earth was my home and I never wanted to limit the size of my backyard. I learned the difference between having a dream and living one is that first you have to know what you want and then you have to find it. Of course there is always a lot of hard work in between, but if it was easy, then everyone would have it.
Leaving the North Island via ferry from Wellington, we ventured across the misty bay into Picton on the South Island. I was fascinated by the North Island and now my imagination went to work. Like all world travelers and especially those that do it for work, we do have agenda’s, but we leave a lot of time for adventure. Here in this land that time forgot, it wasn’t hard to forget time. After the five hour ferry ride across some very rough sea’s, we left and searched for a hotel. We had not made plans to stay the night here, but the weather had delayed our arrival. We checked into a local hotel that was surprisingly cozy and welcoming. The night went quick and the day was fresh when we picked up our rental car and started off to our first destination. It was in The Abel Tasman National Park, a good half day drive. We grew silent as the landscape unfolded. The raw beauty of this constant changing backdrop from mountains, forests and white sandy beaches had captured our thoughts.
It’s a wonder we ever arrived at our first destination, every kilometer turned into a photo shoot. I realized why the movie “Lord of the Rings” had been filmed in New Zealand. This was absolutely stunning terrain. Slightly before dark we managed to locate The Ocean View Chalets. My company had allowed me to design the entire Pacific tour and after some research, I knew that the Abel Tasman was one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We were met by the owner/operator Mr. Robert Palzer. He was a lighthearted and soft spoken man that eased your mind instantly. After a warm conversation, he sensed that we were tired and showed us up the hill to our chalet. It was very rustic and solid native wood. Walking onto and across the large viewing deck we entered the large living room. The chalet had ranch style furnishing’s, a private bath and a separate bedroom. I opened the living room curtains to expose a large window with the view of the entire bay staring back at me. In the adjoining hills were ranches with rolling green pastures, surrounded with forest. The mist from the bay only added to it’s beauty and mystic. After taking a hundred photo’s and several meter’s of film, we settled down for a long enjoyable game of cards. Our laughter and ease of spirits, said it all.
Traveler’s Digest crew toured this magical land and the Ocean View Chalets in June 2002. The images of this land are burnt deep in our minds and we appreciate the opportunity to have experienced it all. Thank you, Robert. Do we recommend the Ocean View Chalets? Absolutely!
It’s a huge world, venture out and feed your souls. Just remember, the world is your backyard and New Zealand is the fantasy land that isn’t a dream.