Have you and your friends always talked about going away together?
We have. I cannot tell you how many years my girlfriends and I spent dreaming of a girls trip away, thinking of things we’d like to do, just spending the time together with no interruptions. Yet, naturally, our organising skills never came to the party.
While our teenage flights of fantasy never materialised, we finally pulled off the ultimate girls weekend in Nelson over Waitangi Weekend a few weeks back - ten years late! (but better late than never). It was the trip we had always wanted to do, and finally, we did it.
We started out travelling over on the Interislander Ferry on Saturday morning. Setting out was exciting, and the boat was packed with people looking to get away for the long weekend. On deck, it was easy to say goodbye to Wellington and set sail for the South Island, watching the harbour drift into the distance. Back in the Ferry, we made ourselves cosy in the busy lounge, making friends with another passenger. We bought sandwiches, muffins and juice to start the weekend off with a little picnic together, cheers-ing to a long weekend.
WATCH THE NELSON GIRLS TRIP VLOG
On arrival, we dis-embarked in Picton and set out on the scenic road to Nelson (advised to us by our fellow passenger). The views from the hills coming around the Marlborough Sounds were stunning. These truly are the most beautiful hill and ocean views. We even stopped to take a few photos.
Once in Nelson, we settled into our little cute bungalow at Kea Apartments. It was so much fun, like setting up a flat together. It really helped that we had our car because we could bring all our things with us, without worrying about baggage excess. Maria and I took the double bed and Mealz took the single bed. Then, as all girls on tour should do, we napped for the afternoon, until it was time to wake up and go for dinner at the delicious Urban Bar and Eatery (I am still dreaming of their sliders). There, in the buzzing Asian fusion restaurant, we met a gorgeous American couple at the same table who were from Kansas. I was telling the woman about Allbirds Shoes and how awesome they were when she whipped out her feet and showed her feet to me - wearing Allbirds! She didn’t even know they were (kinda) from New Zealand!
On Sunday, we decided to go and tried brunch at Ford's in town (which was fine, but nothing to write home about - there were a few flies around the back where we were sitting!). Next, it was time to explore Nelson. I had visited at Christmas but hadn’t gotten a chance yet to properly go and check out the town. We visited the beautiful Queens Gardens (where a bride was getting her photos taken), stopped in at the wonderful Suter Gallery, the Cathedral, and did a bit of shopping in the city centre. We went to Melrose House, which was VERY pretty, and certainly worth visiting with lovely tea and cake, but also some slightly grumpy waitresses. We asked for scones, but they had apparently all sold out, even though one was given to some other customers outside. Nevertheless, it gave us all a giggle.
Then, it was back to our little flat for tea, sharing beauty products and catching up on what we’d all been up to. We even did a couple of facemasks together. Don’t we look stunning? Amelia had brought some from 16Brand, a Korean beauty brand that is stocked at her work, Mecca Cosmetica (Amelia has a pretty cool job working to manage the majority of the New Zealand Stores and had just come from a conference in Melbourne - I KNOW!).
When our faces were freshened up, we were ready to head to town and check out the Buskers Festival. Amelia tried a new makeup look on me which I felt quite in love with *swoon!* Nelson was buzzing as the steps to the Cathedral were swamped with people who had come out to enjoy the fun. We sat back and laughed as some excellent (and some not so excellent) acts rolled out before us.
On finishing, we headed to the nearby Cob and Lobster Restaurant - officially now one of my most favourite places to eat ever. Seriously, you MUST go here. Travel to Nelson simply for Cob and Lobster and you won’t regret it! We ordered whitebait, salmon, veggies, fries, fish and for me, an oyster. Everything was perfectly arranged and presented, delicious and the service was incredible. We absolutely had the best night and I even ran into a friend from Wellington who was waitressing there *Hi Cassie!*
The next day, we were taken on a wine tour with Nelson Tours and Travel. CJ was our host for the day and we had the best time visiting the various Vineyards in Nelson. Call me ridiculous, but I hadn’t quite realised there were so many! We loved all the vineyards we went to but especially Rimu Grove and Brightwater Vineyards. As it was coming up to harvest, there were nets on the vines, and the fruit was rich and sweet to eat. We nibbled away and listened eagerly as the vineyard owners explained their work and why the wine they made was unique to Nelson.
Finally, we finished up the weekend by chilling at the movies and enjoying dinner at the excellent Char Bar and Grill, another of Nelson’s amazing restaurants (they got the food out to us SO fast). We saw Molly’s Game - a fantastic film based on a true story about a woman who ran gambling events in the 2000’s in Los Angeles and New York - at the old school State Cinema. Sometimes it doesn’t all have to be sky-diving right?
The following morning, it was time to pack up and go - but not before we’d made yet another epic discovery in Nelson. Cafe Roma is parallel to the main street, and if I lived here it would definitely be my local! Gelato, Italian coffee and plenty of pizza! We ate a healthy muesli on site and grabbed a slice of veggie pizza for the road. Mama mia - il gusto!
While we dashed back to get to the Ferry on time (we might have cut it pretty damn thin - Maria’s driving skills were tested zipping around the corners to make it), we all laughed and joked together about how hilarious it was we were late. I realised that that is the best things about girlfriends, as opposed to maybe your significant other. You never blame one another, and the whole thing, which otherwise might be stressful and horrid, is simply what it is. You don’t get cross. You don’t blame someone or sulk. Why? You know it is simply another twist in the journey together. And as we twisted and turned, heading back to the Interislander Ferry to take us back to Wellington, I couldn’t help but be grateful that I had these lovely ladies on the journey with me, through life. Getting together had made all the difference and given us such a sense of love and satisfaction (and relaxation away from the men-folk!).
There truly are no others quite like your best girlfriends and no other place like Nelson. Make sure you always appreciate them, and that you take time to get away together.
This post was kindly sponsored by The Interislander, but as usual all opinions are my own.