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.
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.