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Published: February 22nd 2016
We packed up today and left the beautiful Totaranui. Parked up at Tarakohe Port this afternoon and it’s on our bikes for a ride to Pohara for a big fat ice-cream😊. Then onto a walk/bike track that follows the waterfront at Pohara past the golf course and onto a Historical Cemetery and the Clifton Reserve and picnic area. It’s nice along the waterfront but the rest of it not my cuppa tea.
Tuesday morning and the weather as forecasted, has packed it in. So we head to Collingwood for supplies and a wander around in the pouring rain. There is a question mark as to whether our raincoats are actually waterproof. Then off to Pakawau School House Café to bunk down till the weather passes. Pakawau is one of those places that has a good community feel about it. The Old School Café has become the local watering hole and Communal meeting place. The owners have done a great job of this café.
Wednesday – rain, wind, rain, wind…….lots of reading and a few vinos at the café.
Thursday the weather looks like it has cleared so we head to Wharariki Beach and Holiday Park. On arrival the
very large NZ Air Force helicopter was parked at the camp. Last night in the atrocious weather conditions the Air Force were called in to rescue 2 men in their togs (Australian/British) who decided ignoring the warning signs was ok to go swimming or whatever they were doing and ended up stranded one of the little islands just off Wharariki beach. You can access these islands at low tide but it was high tide, massive waves and getting dark. Lucky for them they were rescued, not sure if they would have fared well overnight in togs and appalling conditions.
Wharariki is amazing and very much a rugged West Coast beach without the black sand. We walked over from the camp through farmland to the beach (20 minutes). The tide was out so we got a good chance to admire the Archway islands up close, caves and rock pools with baby seals playing in them. From here we took the track through the river and up high along the Cliffs heading East to Cape Farewell (The northernmost part of the South Island). The track was steep in places, with huge drop-offs but boy was it spectacular views. This track took
us about 3-3 ½ hours returning via the road to camp. A late lunch and a rest then we headed off to walk to Pillar Point Lighthouse. Well the weather was fine when we left but unfortunately half way up the big hill as we were grunting up it decided to blow a gale and rain! This is the first time on our travels we had to get our emergency $2 bright yellow raincoats out. The wind was blowing so hard they filled up with air and threatened to blow us away. People looking up from down at camp or Cape Farewell were probably wondering what the big yellow balloons were at the Lighthouse. Despite the weather the views were still great the walk back down and West along the hill top cliffs to Cape Farewell were awesome. The walk probably took us about 3 ½ hours return to camp. Feeling a little jaded it may be an early night😊.
Friday morning and Lance has put his driving hat on so we can go and explore the Whanganui Inlet and Anatori River. It’s and long and winding road…………but worth the effort. The road is actually quite cool as it
winds around and over many causeways, then runs along the West Coast. We were fortunate enough that the tide was in so the Whanganui Inlet rewarded us with some lovely scenery. First stop was Paturau River and beach. This is a typical West Coast beach with lots of driftwood washed ashore. The river here was fast flowing today and likely due to the heavy rain from a couple of days ago. The dramatic cliffs behind remind me a little of the Horohoro bluffs back home. Lunch and coffee done and we head to the end of the road and the Anatori river. You can actually carry on across the river to the other side if you have 4wd, but today nobody will be crossing. The river is deep and fast flowing. This is also recommended as a great fishing spot. It’s been a good day but now it’s time to find a spot to rest. Pakawau Old School Café here we come😊.
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