To the Centre of New Zealand (for a cup of tea)

Nelson in the winter time is unlike anywhere else in the world.  Frosty mornings give way to blue skies and soul warming sunshine. Perfect days for afternoon strolls.

Last Sunday was no different.

With our thermos at the ready, Mum and I headed out to a place I have been meaning to visit for quite some time: the Centre of New Zealand.

Located at the top of Nelson’s Botanical Hill, the Centre of New Zealand marks the point from where the trigonometric surveys of the late 1800s began to map the geography of New Zealand.

The walk is not a strenuous one although it is steep in places. We took it slowly: taking time to admire flax flowers and fern fronds along the way. The path wound its way through pockets of native bush and out again onto the exposed hill side. Bell birds and tui  filled the air with their melodic warbling.

The view from the top is stunning. It’s no wonder the surveyors chose the location as their starting point: the scenery unfolds in front of you for miles in every direction.

Mum and I settled ourselves down at one of the benches next to the Marker. We poured each other a cup of green tea and with each sip took in the view.

We watched each group as they reached the top. Families on an adventure. Friends having a catch up. An elderly gentleman out for a walk with his Labrador.

Each new arrival was greeted by a very industrious fantail who was flitting about after the bugs stirred up by footsteps through the grass. I spent far too long trying to take his picture: only to push the button just as he flew off again.

As the sun began its gradual slope towards the Western Ranges, we packed up our things and wandered slowly back down the hill.

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