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We left Westport this morning heading north on another series of long curvy roads. We drove in and out (and back in and back out) of the rain all day.

Now that we are out of the forest, we are driving through large agricultural areas. There are tons of sheep, of course, but also huge herds of various types of cows, and, more interestingly, deer. We haven’t seen much venison on restaurant menus, so we wonder if much of it is exported?

We passed by hundreds of acres of what turned out to be hops.

This was a new growth field. We saw many at various stages of growth.
Every 40 days the hops get harvested.

Both the craft brew industry and the giants like Monteiths buy their hops from here.

We also saw many apple and pear orchards. The NZ pears are particularly yummy, we’ve been slicing them up and putting them in our salads.

And finally, the massive farms gave way to the smaller family farms, where folks had an assortment of goods for sale at roadside kiosks: fruit, vege, juices, honey, flowers.

After a small detour when Google was not informed of some road closures, we have arrived in Abel Tasman National Park, our last stop on this trip. After a long road day we soaked in the hot tub and had a nice dinner using the communal barbecues.

We found some pre-fab pavlova at the grocery store – dessert for the next couple nights.

Tomorrow we are planning a (very) long hike into Abel Tasman National Park – wish us luck!

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