December 29, 2023 Nelson (Day 93)

After a night of rain and predictions of rain off and on today we decided to stay closer to home and not out on a trail! We drove into the town of Nelson, almost an hour away, but the biggest town nearby. We headed to the ‘old town’ area to see “New Zealand’s oldest fully preserved street”. South Street had it’s first building in 1861, twenty years after the official ‘founding’ of the settlement of Nelson by the New Zealand Company in 1841. By the 1970’s the street was considered a slum and plans were made for demolition of the small cottages that once housed immigrant laborers. Locals opposed the plans and a city council report described the street as “Unique in Nelson as a group of cottages which show the everyday style of accommodation of the period 1860-1900 as as such is an integral part of Nelson’s townscape today”. Revival and renewal of South Street commenced and the street is now a tourist attraction. It reminded me of Hannibal, Missouri where Mark Twain grew up, on a much smaller scale!After strolling the short street we headed a few blocks to the downtown shopping area on Trafalgar Street. The street T’s into Church Hill where Christ Church Cathedral overlooks the downtown with an imposing tower. The gardens around the church are amazing!

A huge pine competes with the bell tower!

A statue overlooks a planting of summer flowers while a blooming pohutukawa overlooks the statue!

There’s even a planting of cactus against the wall of the bell tower, some blooming!

From the steps up to the Cathedral bell tower you can look at the downtown square.

After an hour strolling the Cathedral gardens and the shopping district we headed to Pic’s Peanut Butter World in the neighboring suburb of Stoke. Unfortunately they were closed for the day already. But we got to take pictures next to the giant peanut butter jar!


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