Golden Bay

From Kaiteriteri it was up and over the dreaded Takaka Hill. It’s up till you’re up, a slight reprieve and down till you’re down. Still some road works on the way up where the road has slipped away. A 12 minute wait until the green light.

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Stock up at the Takaka super market and out to the NZMCA Park at Tarakohe beside the busy little port for mussel barges and pleasure yachts. The Pohara yacht club is also here and open on Sundays after 11 am for meals and bar. We went up for a meal to find all the tables had been booked for later in the evening but we were able to get in first and away before the busy time.

The next day we drove over to Totaranui at the top end of the Abel Tasman Park for a look around and on the way back we visited the waterfall at Wainui. A very nice walk through the bush and a nice waterfall at the end.

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Totaranui Beach. Note the golden sands.

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Water taxi from Kaiteriteri unloading and loading passengers on to the Totaranui Beach.

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Wainui Waterfall

Next day it was a trip just west of Takaka to the Te Waikoropupu Springs. This is a must see. There is so much water flowing out of the ground it’s mesmerizing. The water is pure and the bottom of the spring very visible. The springs were in private hands but the land owner sold the land to the government for the enjoyment of all New Zealanders.

A few more kms up the same road is a small hydro power station. The station had fallen into disrepair and had stopped power production when the locals formed the Pupu Power Society and set about restoring the whole system. The water race, filter, penstock, and the entire turbine, generator and distribution system was rebuilt and now supplies the national grid. The generator produces 400 volts 250 Kw. The voltage is stepped up to 11,000 volts and 1.8 Gw /year is fed into the grid. The money generated benefits the community.

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The filter screen at the end of the water race. The screen is automatically cleaned every now and then.

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Looking down the penstock from the filter. The power station is in the small building at the bottom with the bush surrounding it.

Moving further round Golden Bay we stopped at the Golden Bay Campsite, another Campsaver camp. From here we explored this end of the Heaphy Great Walks Track. Puts ideas in your head. Maybe we might walk this track in the near future. We’ve already explored both ends, might be time to see the middle.I

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Judy on the Heaphy Track waiting for you know who to catch up.

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Time for a coffee. This amazing place seen on the way to the track couldn’t be passed by. All sorts of fascinating objects inside.

Further round the bay is the Pakawau Camp Ground, our last campsite in the bay, and another Campsaver. Thankyou NZMCA. The camper beside us was Salty (or Paul) and his cat. The cat was a Burmese, more dog than cat and had travelled with Salty from Auckland. Sasha the cat/dog paid us a visit sussing us out and a good once over of our caravan.

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Salty with Sasha. Two of the interesting and friendly people and animals we have met in our travels. Salty also provided us with a lovely feed of white bait.

From here we explored the start of the Farewell Spit walking from the Golden Bay side to the Tasman Sea and up the beach to cross over and return. Went up to Cape Farewell, the most northerly point of the South Island. Cape Farewell is at about the same latitude as Foxton. Have now been to the bottom and top of the SI. Also followed the road round to Wharariki Beach.

The next day over to the west coast from Pakawau and down to Anatori. Most of the road was metal with large pot holes so it was a slow journey but worth while. The road follows round the Whanganui Inlet before joining the coast. At Anatori there is a river to ford that we decided not to do. The road apparantly continues on for a further 10 km. On the bank of the river were several caravans and camper van’s that had braved the roads. The main activity was white baiting and fishing. The children seemed to be having a ball and revelling in their spartan suroundings.

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One of the quaint baches at Anatori.

We have now left the Golden Bay and are back in the Motueka  NZMCA Camp planning on where to next. Another better look at the Nelson Lakes District is on the cards.

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