To Live & Diet in New Zealand: Kaikoura to Abel Tasman
Two weeks ago, I said goodbye to one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever visited.
With their pristine National Parks and ecologically diverse natural wonders, New Zealand’s South Island is incredibly awe-inspiring.
Usually when I travel abroad it’s difficult to stick to my healthy eating and living routine, but not in New Zealand. Every place we visited provided another opportunity to get our hearts pumping and to try delicious, nutritious, local fare. I was absolutely in heaven.
In case you’re on the hunt for your next 2015 excursion, today I’m sharing part one of my guide to eating healthy and staying fit, Kiwi-style.
Here are some of my favorite healthy restaurants, outdoor adventures and spectacular sights from Kaikoura to Abel Tasman.
An hour north of Christchurch, South Island’s main hub, is a gorgeous seaside town, full of incredible ocean views and exciting animal encounters.
Blue Mesh Hoodie, Anatomie.
The Ohau Point Seal Colony is a main attraction and an easy outing for people of all fitness levels.
December is right in the middle of the fur seal’s birthing season and we spent quite some time transfixed on them, watching as the young pups playfully swatted each other and the new moms watched over their babies.
Having had good luck in the past using it abroad, we decided to try Airbnb for lodging, and were thrilled when we showed up at the coolest bed and breakfast ever.
The Factory is an old dairy farm that was converted into a 5-bedroom house with a full wing for guests. Inside it has luxury accommodations with a full kitchen and hot tub, and outside are the most adorable grounds.
Naturally, I took full advantage of the gorgeous property, enjoying my morning coffee (or should I say “Flat White”) out in the garden…
…scoping out the wildlife…
…and squeezing in a few sun salutations before we jump-started our day.
Because seeing the seals was simply not enough for a person of my curiosity level, on our second day in Kaikoura we swam with them.
I can’t explain to you how amazing this experience was.
Though the water is frigid at first, after a few minutes your body acclimates and the only thing you’re thinking about is how close you are to touching a live seal.
Hundreds of these playful, 300-pound wild pups came speeding at us underwater, literally inches from our face.
Of course, I resisted the urge to reach out and touch them.
Though Seal Swim Kaikoura has only had two bites in their 30 year history, I was not about to be the third.
Our final animal encounter in Kaikoura was a little more tame but no less thrilling.
After catching some rays (and doing a few more yoga poses) on the beach, we spent a few hours watching the mesmerizing Sperm Whales take their bi-hourly breaths.
On our way out of town we stopped by a local favorite, Nin’s Bin.
We were planning on trying out the famed crayfish for a little snack but decided against it when we realized this road-side stand was serving up lobster-priced fare. Each crayfish goes for $50 to $80!
I’m still dying to know what crayfish tastes like…
From Kaikoura, we headed up the coast toward Abel Tasman National Park, stopping briefly in a little town called Blenheim in the Marlborough Region for dinner.
I’m not quite sure what there is to do here, but if you’re ever in the area, don’t miss the crazy good (and healthy) food at Ritual Cafe.
This was the first of many incredible fish dishes I enjoyed in NZ. I can’t remember the name of this one, but it was covered in a cilantro lime sauce that was out of this world.
My man opted for the Red Snapper Curry.
Indian/Asian/Thai food is surprising popular in New Zealand, which we quickly learned, and took full advantage of.
I went all the way to New Zealand to find a State of California-inscribed spoon. It was so fortuitous, I just had to have it. When we asked to purchase it though, they gave it to us for free.
Ritual Cafe – you rock!
If you’re looking for the best beaches the South Island has to offer, Abel Tasman National Park is where it’s at.
We spent a day here kayaking, hiking and experiencing our first (of many) swing bridges.
As you can see, outfit changes were a common occurrence here as the weather/climate fluctuates considerably throughout the day and in different areas of the same region. One minute you’re dodging raindrops in a forest, the next you’re getting a sunburn on the beach.
My strategy was wearing cute but comfortable/functional clothes that you can layer, and that worked for a variety of activities and temperatures.
This particular pair of Anatomie pants saw a lot of action.
They’re cozy enough to wear on long car rides, durable enough for “tramping” through the forest, and cute enough to sport out to dinner.
Got an upcoming adventure you need functional and fashionable fitness wear for? Anatomie is giving LDLA readers a 10% discount on all of their gear for stylish jet-setters.
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Stay tuned next week for the second half of the round up, which will feature easy to incorporate tips for staying healthy on-the-go!
*This post is sponsored by Anatomie.