From now on, I will be sharing my past travels as part of my Travel Throwback Thursday #TTBT series.

Working clockwise around the South Island, our New Zealand trip was coming to an end. Taking a day to explore Nelson and the surrounding area. Here are three things that made the Nelson area memorable.

Vineyards

New Zealand has a growing wine industry that is being recognized throughout the world. After visiting wineries in Napa Valley for spring break earlier in the year, I was excited to experience wine tasting in another country. The I-Site suggested heading to Glover’s Vineyard, which was a quaint winery. The owner, Dan Glover, poured wines for us to taste and talked about the vineyards and wine process. It was fun learning more of what New Zealand has to offer besides the fjords and outdoor adventure.

Glovers Winery

Rabbit Island

On the drive back to Nelson from the winery, it was time to visit Rabbit Island. Seeing signs on the road piqued our interest to head to a beach–it was summer after all. Shells lined the beach as waves gently broke against the sand. Local surfers were catching waves on the beautiful day. Walking the beach, we found mussels and crabs that were washed up onto the sand. Unfortunately, we did not find any that were alive. It was a perfect place to have a picnic away from the camper van, so we set up a nice spread and enjoyed the beach.

Rabbit Island

Green-Lipped Mussels

New Zealand is known for its delicious green-lipped mussels, so I had to try some before heading back to the States. We found a few restaurants that served them in Havelock around dinner time–located between Nelson and Picton. The mussels were larger than I have ever seen and very colorful and tasty!

Green Lipped Mussels

Do you leave room in your travels to explore outside of a guidebook?

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