Abel Tasman, Day 10

The next morning we decided to book the kayak trip with Kaiteriteri kayaks. The one we chose was the “Royale with Cheese.” We chose this one because it looked like it covered the most distance so that we would see most of the park. And we were also supposed to see sea lions. It was $180 a person, slightly cheaper than other full-day kayak trips that ranged from $200 – $240. I couldn’t believe we were spending so much money just to go kayaking… But from what we could tell, the only independent kayaking we could do would have to originate from Kaiteriteri beach, and we wanted to start up north and go southward with the wind at our backs. We would be paying a lot to start far into the park. I called the kayak company and booked it and asked about the weather/wind forecasts, and she said it was looking better to go on Thur rather than Fri, so we booked it for the next day.

Since we had slept in, it was almost noon by the time we left for Golden Bay. We stopped to get gas, and the station was selling fresh strawberries for $3 a pint. We should’ve bought two, they were so sweet and ripe.


Strawberries... from a gas station.

The drive to Takaka was along a twisty road with some amazing scenery. Our first stop in Golden Bay was at Te Waikoropupu Falls. We ate sandwiches in the parking lot, and our delicious strawberries. The depth of clarity of the springs holds a record for freshwater, and they are considered a sacred place to the Maori. There were strict rules about no pets and about not touching the water. It took about an hour to do the loop to the springs and back through forest to the parking lot.

Dawn at Pupu Springs
Pupu Springs.
Sign about the significance of Pupu Springs.
Pupu Springs panorama.
Marc at Pupu Springs.
Mini hike near Pupu Springs.
A lovely little Fantail bird!!

Next we went to the town of Takaka, which is known for its “hippie vibe” and local art scene. We browsed through various shops, and I found some beautiful glass necklaces for my nieces. They were heart-shaped, blown glass and $30 each. The shop owner thanked us heartily for supporting the arts in Takaka. We also looked in another shop that sold a lot of postcards and art prints. Takaka was an adorable little town that felt a lot like Friday Harbor. We stopped for coffee along the main street.

The sleepy town of Takaka.


Graffiti on a wall in the town of Takaka.


After visiting the town, we headed out to Pohara and the Abel Tasman monument. The view from the monument was spectacular. We went to one of the beaches along Golden Bay but I’m not sure which one it was. We beach-combed and took many pictures of the lovely scenery. Marc found what looked like a dead baby shark on the beach; it was a foot long but had a lot of tiny, sharp teeth. Poor thing!

Panorama from the Abel Tasman monument.
Careful! Penguins ahead!!
Awww. So cute.
Hitchhiking is encouranged in NZ!
Golden bay beach.
Marc on Golden Bay beach.
Golden bay beach bird.
Golden bay beach panorama.

On the way back to Riwaka we stopped at the Harwood Lookout. The day had been mostly overcast, but suddenly the sun began peeping through the clouds and the landscape turned into a magical thing. It felt like we were in the Shire! We took a lot of pictures and enjoyed the beauty of the moment.

Dawn walking to the Harwood Lookout.
Behold the Shire! Or, the view from Harwood Lookout.
Dawn & Marc in the Shire.
Harwood Lookout panorama.
This gives a good idea of how twisty NZ roads are...

Between Kaiteriteri and Riwaka, we stopped at a “food bus.” We bought a piece of carrot cake and decided to try one of their lamb and potato pies. It was DELICIOUS. Flakey, delicate crust and yummy savory meaty potato-y bits… Heaven! We also stopped at Motueka to get some more groceries. Marc said he was craving a steak, and so we bought some. Later that night when he tried to cook them, he almost burned the place down and we got into our one and only argument of the trip. He was upset about ruining dinner (the steaks were still good and perfectly edible), and I was upset about having to do most of the cooking. Our compromise was to agree to eat more dinners out! 🙂 We spent the rest of the evening admiring a beautiful sunset, playing with Gray Kitty, doing laundry and sipping wine from our lovely terrace.

Best carrot cake ever. From The Bus in Riwaka.


Go on the next part of the journey!

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