Golden Bay« Previous post in category · Next post in category »
While picking kiwifruit in the golden bay region, I had ample days off to explore the many sights in the area.
On the drive into Golden Bay, you come over Takaka Hill, with spectacular views back over Nelson and ahead over Golden Bay. We had a very clear day for it, and the driver (my boss for fruit picking) was kind enough to stop at the top and let us take photos.
A group of us went here by car, went swimming in the ocean (apparently quite dangerous due to currents, though we had no difficulties), built a fire on the beach and even cooked a tin of baked beans on it. The beach is beautiful, deserted, and there are some offshore rocky islands with huge archways in them. If you come here at low tide the baby seals will greet you and show-off their swimming skills.
A steep climb up through dense vegetation leads to this amazing cave. The statactites near the edge of the cave curve towards the sunlight due to some unique plantlife that grows in them. I fell in love with the fantails which accompanied us on the walk, flying closely around us to feed on the insects which were bothering us.
Te Waikoropupu Springs
These springs produce the clearest spring water in the world. The only place you find clearer water is under the antartic ice. I cycled here from Takaka and went for a walk round the many springs in the area. An underwater mirror which you can look down onto shows you just how clear the waters are.
Another easy cycle from Takaka, this small scenic reserve features rocks which, not surprisingly, form a bit of a maze of passages. The owners have added a bit of a spooky feel to the place by putting lots of kids toys in various hollows in the rock, or just lying randomly about. I remember seeing a barbie doll tied by her hair to a tree as well. The maze part of the park is the most fun area, where you can crawl through archways and tunnels in the rock to adjacent passages.
Spectacular waterfall on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park. The track up to the waterfalls was a bit vertigo-inducing in places, especially a neat little suspension bridge with a Max 1 person warning sign on it. They had a huge storm in this region in December which washed out a lot of sections of the road leading out here, and some of the path. The falls themselves are suitably large, with a thunderous noise, plenty of height and a chill in the air caused by all the water spray.
Abel Tasman Memorial
On the road between Takaka and Abel Tasman National Park, you can do a short walk to the top of a hill with an ugly tall white memorial on top, which is the Abel Tasman memorial. Not worth seeing the memorial, but the view from there is expansive and shows the best of what golden bay has to offer.« Previous post in category · Next post in category »