The ferry ride over was very nice though both boys got a tiny bit seasick. Adrian was in heaven. I think he took a thousand photos.
We spent our first day and night in Nelson and found a very clean and comfy hotel right near the beach. I have to say, this was one of the best beaches so far that I've seen in NZ. It reminded me of Fla. The sand was light and clean, the water was lovely and there was room to run around, or fly a kite!
Kaikoura is a really fun place to spend your birthday. I have to admit, I was spoiled. Kaikoura is home of the Crayfish, or as we call it, LOBSTER. They aren't cheap ( @ $80 each) but they are good. You can stop at a little trailer on the side of the road and have a lobster right there, freshly plucked from the ocean.