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Day 33 – Golden Bay to Nelson

Each day Art keeps on saying I won’t have much to write about – but there have been different things each day. On the face of it, Art’s comment should ring true today, but I measure a holiday on things that willmake memories, and – actually – a couple of interesting things did happen.

Pohara

We left Shambhala at 10:30, and headed towards the road that joins Takaka, in Golden Bay, to Motueka in Tasman Bay. There ws one more road I wanted to investigate – this leads from Takaka, along the coast that borders the Abel Tasman National Park, to Pohara (and a bit beyond). One reason for this is we are still looking for places where we think we could live, and where we could get some extra income from renting out a few rooms. I think we’d already decided that this side of the hill was too far, but I wanted to nose around anyway.

Pohara is the main little town on this coast. It is in a lovely location, on a beautiful bay. Unfortunately what spoiled it for me was the huge Top 10 Holiday Park, on the seaward side of the road, that to all intents and purposes blocked off the majority of the beach from the general public. There’s a good cafe (‘The Penguin’) on the road just through Pohara though – look for their lunchtime special.

Pupu Springs (claimed to be the clearest spring water in the world)

Pupu Springs

Pupu Springs boast that they are the largest and purest springs inh the world – quite a boast! And DOC are very protective of them. No-one and nothing is allowed to come into contact with the water, in case they infect them with the invasive weed Didymo (otherwise known as ‘snotweed’), This is understandable, but a bit of a shame, as on a hot sunny day (like today) the cool, clear waters look very inviting. You can’t even fill your water bottle. The ‘no fishing’ rule does, however, mean there are some huge fish in there – they looked like brown trout to me. And it’s a bit spooky to see the water bubbling up in a large central pool, before running with a reasonably strong current and volume down the hillside. It’s an easy circular stroll to the springs, making a pleasant and mildly interesting walk

Takaka to Nelson

The first 20 km of the road from Takaka starts reasonably flat, then (after Upper Takaka – yes – there are 20 km between the two places) the road starts climbing over the ranges between the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks. There are some viewpoints at the top of the ranges, and some limestone caves that you can visit (with compulsory cafe).

Then down into Motueka. We definitely could live in Motueka, or thereabouts.

The rest of the road into Nelson is pretty boring. We hit Nelson at about 4:00 pm, and it was pretty busy. After looking forward to seeing a city again, Art ws ‘Oh dear, I’d forgotten what traffic was like’.

The Quarry

And here’s our memory for the day. We programmed in the address of the holiday park we were aiming for, and started following its directions. All was going well – only 5 more km to go!

‘Are you sure we’ve taken the right turning’, Art says, ‘This doesn’t look right’. ‘Yes’, says I, ‘You can see that the little car on the GPS screen is exactly on the route it says’. ‘Why then, has the road turned to gravel, and we’ve just driven into a quarry then’ says Hubby……..

And sure enough, there we were in the middle of a gravel quarry with a gravel lorry, and a surprised driver giving this little purple sports car a very pecular looks.

So we backtracked and had to read a ‘proper’ paper map to find the place….

Brook Valley Holiday Park

When we eventually found the Brook Valley Holiday Park, we found we were in a river valley, and a bird sanctuary. It is very quiet, and there are a pair of very friendly ducks (who like Ritz crackers).

The buildings in the park are well-maintained but maybe a tad utilitarian – it reminds me a bit of army barracks – but they are spotlessly clean, and a very reasonable price. We could have stayed in a basic cabin for about $35, but have decided to go ‘up-market’ at $52.20 with a cabin that has it’s own living room (sofa, table, chairs & TV) and a small shared kitchen. And I can cook my chicken at last – there’s an immaculately clean cooker.

It’s reasonably close to the centre of Nelson too – not walking distance, but a short drive. In fact, we’re so impressed, we’re staying another night.

Sandfly count low

Next Day: Day 34 – Nelson

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terris_travelogue/south_island/day_33.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/10 20:15 by art
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