On the 15th we took a ferry to across Cook Strait to Picton whi took about three hours and we were lucky to have very smooth sailing which is not always the case we learned.

From there we drove to Nelson, stayed overnight visiting the Suter Museum the next morning - which also had a great café for breakfast.

Then we took a long winding drive all the way west to reach the Tasman sea and then climb northward to a small town called Karamea and the “Last Resort Motel” which was just about at the end of the road.

Our goal was to visit the Honeycomb Hill Caves early the next morning in Kahurangi National Park. Luckily we had a very experienced guide, Yvonne, who drove us on a perilous road - known as one of the most dangerous in NZ. We climbed up around 500 feet above sea level and then down into the Opara basin. We were then led on a trek through magnificent tropical bush and across chain bridges which eventually brought the six of us descending deeply into a cave where we then climbed up and down beneath the ground we had previously traversed….  

We could see the actual roots of the trees we had just seen earlier from above. It was a magical world of limestone stalactites and stalagmites and more Moa bones.

After about two hours of creeping climbing and exploring, we saw daylight again: