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Published: November 29th 2010
Thursday morning we drove down & round to Motueka where we stopped to ask about the U Fly Pitts Special flying. We were told they were fully booked tomorrow & possible the day after but Vincent had time to take us up then & there. What the hell, we decided to go for it & had a great time doing rolls & loops over Abel Tasman!
We then continued up to Takaka & Golden Bay stopping off to admire the views as we came over Takaka Hill. We stayed at The Nook in Pohara with a south African guys named Hans. This was a lovely friendly place & we were sad when we had to leave. The first evening we hitched a lift up to The Grove - a limestone out crop that has been scuplted by the weather & with trees & vines growing all over & through them. After supper I rested my foot & read whilst Julian wandered down to the local bay to check out the beach.
The next day we were a little late out due to the necessity of laundary! We headed east & checked out the Abel Tasman monument & the views
Yeah, I flew it!
And it was AWESOME!!!!
from the same then went up to see the Wainui Falls, shame we didn't take our swimmers as the pool under the falls looked lovely, if a bit cold! We then raced up to the Farewell Spit to go horse riding for thge afternoon. As there was a new trek guide in training the 2.5h trek ended up being over 3h, not that we were compaining as the trek we did was up & over the hills named Old Man's Head & gave beautiful 360 views of Abel Tasman, the west coast & even Mt Taranaki over on North Island! I rode a lovely little horse called Scooby who was a bit naughty (he liked to eat, didn't like going first & refused to canter) but had the nicest trot I've ridden! After rubbing down our mounts & bidding them & the guides farewell we headed down to Wharariki beach for a little whilst. This remote beach is down a gravel track then a 20 min walk over beautiful rolling hills. It was worth being a little late home for supper to get the chance to stroll along the sand & admire the caves and arches along the bay.
Unfortunately we had agreed to head on on Saturday but cold both have gladly stayed longer in Golden Bay & The Nook. We first headed to the north end of the Abel Tasman National Park so Julian could at least say he'd walked there a little & wandered down to a lovely beach with warm water where Julian accidentally found a hermit crap inside a pretty shell! He failed to find the path leaving the beach to continue his walk though so joined me whilst I was still writting postcards. The tide had come in very quickly so this was probably a good thing. We also failed to find the culprit of some very strange snuffling noises which we think was a nesting bird, possible a weka, on the further side of a drainage ditch. This was in spite of Julian attempting to film it by holding his camera tripod accross the stream! We then briefly wandered around Takaka market where we ate poppy seed cakes & I bought a nice piece of amber, before trying to find the Washbourne Scenic Reserve where orchids can be found. Unfortunately we can't confirm this as we completely failed to find the reserve!
So we left Golden Bay & stopped off to see the Ngarua Caves where we oooh-ed & ahhhh-ed at the beautiful stalagtites & mites & also the moa bones where they'd fallen down into the caves. Got to hold a moa tibia & they are really hefty, much denser than normal bird bone. No keel or wing bones either, truely flightless birds!
We left Takaka Hill & headed straight on up to Nelson where we are staying in a larger hostel as the smaller ones we tried were full. We decided to treat ourselves so went out to a nice Indian restaurant for food & we are now both stuffed!!! The run of clear weather (it was so hot in Golden Bay!) seems to have ended as ther were a few drops of rain on the way back to the hostel. We will head down the east coast to Kaikoura tomorrow morning & hopefully enjoy our remaining few days on South Island.
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