© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_nz_takaka_16

New Zealand – Abel Tasman / Takaka – 5th/6th Dec

The skydive was off once again! We found this out bright and early and decided we would hang around for the morning to see if the weather would improve. With the help of the Motueka I-site staff we decided that the weather wouldn’t be getting better until the next day so armed with this information we moved our skydive once again and went north.

We drove over Takaka Hill which is and steep windy and took quite a while in “Po”, on the other side we stopped off to get a few bits for dinner and then drove on toward Totaranui a DOC campground located partway along the Abel Tasman coastal track. This was a further hour and a half with a scenic lunch break at a quiet bay along the way. The weather was improving at last. When we finally reached the campground we found a spot amongst the vast spaces on offer, this campground is huge and it does get full during the Christmas holidays. Thankfully for us we didn’t have to worry about having too many close neighbours and they have good shelters for cooking under too. We noticed straight away how many sand-flies were around to start feeding on us, so we quickly changed and went on a walk along the coastal route.

It’s not a particularly tasking path the Abel Tasman track but it does reward with great ocean views, with clear skies perhaps we could have appreciated it more. We made it to Awaroa Inlet where we couldn’t go any further along the track as it was high tide which makes it impassible. We watched and photographed the tide coming in quickly, turned around and took the path back to the campground passing back through the beautiful white sand beaches. We enjoyed the rest of the evening back at the campsite which was a quiet event with a spot of ‘Peep Show’ on the agenda after a solid camp meal.

When we woke up the next day we realised that the skydive wouldn’t be happening…AGAIN!! It was absolutely chucking it down and we’d now come to the conclusion that the weather forecast is a little unpredictable over here! After a quick chat with Abel Tasman Skydive we decided to cancel with them completely and hope there would be another opportunity later in our travels. We had spent enough time moving around our agenda trying to fit this in and we were both ready to move on.

But not until we explored Takaka a little more. Helen had been here a few years earlier and was left with fond memories and wanted to share this with Dave. Although it was damp and grey we started with a drive to Te Waikoropupu Springs (also known as the Pupu Springs), one of the largest natural springs in the world. Neither of us have seen a natural spring on this scale before and it was really interesting. This is a cold spring which bubbles out of the ground and the water is crystal clear.

We then drove into Takaka and walked around the little town streets taking in the museum and art gallery; very twee would be our description. We also found the Wholemeal Cafe who’s cookbook Helen had been reading when we were staying with Vic and Dave. We enjoyed a lovely lunchtime dinner at the Cafe and found time to do a little work on the blog. The food at the Wholemeal Cafe is really good, Dave had a vegetarian jungle curry and Helen the salmon and pesto pasta. We were happy to be enjoying another cooked meal as this was supposed to be Helen’s birthday treat in the first place. We also bought cookbook number 2 which at $40 is expensive but their approach to cooking is very realistic and achievable and we also thought we would start using the recipes as we travel to spice up our cooking adventures.

On our way out of Takaka we popped into the I-site to get a few more ideas as to what to see in the area. We were strongly recommended to go to The Grove. We clambered amongst its limestone formations under tropical leaf coverage and as we were leaving we spotted a sign for Anahata; the yoga retreat where Helen had stayed when she was here in 2009.

For the rest of the day it rained as were driving out of the area and into the West Coast region. We made it as far as a DOC campground located at the Lyell township historical site. The town is no longer there and the campground marks the entrance to this area. We read into the history of the gold mining place and then trekked out toward old mining equipment remains along the river gorge. The sandflies were upon us once again so we hid away in the van for the rest of the night.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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