The rest of my time in Nelson I just had a look around old favourite places I’d been to before and went to some new ones. One of these new places was the Geographical Centre of New Zealand, or reputedly known as such, which is only twenty five minutes walk from the hostel. At the summit of Botanical Hill, there is a monument claiming that it’s the geographical centre of New Zealand. Apparently, the true geographical centre of New Zealand is said to be 55km southwest in the Spooner Range, but Botanical Hill retains this honour due the fact it had the first trig station in the South Island and further surveying radiated from this point.
It’s a very nice walk but very steep the closer you get to the top. It’s worth the climb though as the view is lovely. You can see Nelson harbour and the mountain valley behind. It was a beautiful day again but fairly windy. An Irish couple, Bernard and Aine had checked into the hostel that morning and I bumped into them at the top.
I had a few drinks on Thursday night in one of the bars, which had a great jazz band playing and met some interesting people. The singer had a fantastic voice. Jeez she was good. But unfortunately, I only caught the last half hour of the music, as they finished playing at 10.30pm. I had a coffee and a chat with a guy who I’d bumped into on the street a few times.
He was an interesting guy, from London but with Irish ancestry. He travels quite a bit and it was nice to talk to him. We had a look at some of the historic plaques on Wakefield Quay. There were about twenty of these plaques with details of the various ships that docked in Nelson in the 1800’s and some that sank. All of the plaques have the passenger lists on them and that was interesting to see. There were some Irish names there too.
I left Nelson with a sense of loneliness because I really like the town and the feel of the place. I also like Nelson because you see quite a few people walking around with musical instruments because of the music school there. I liked that.