Te Waka a Maui #1 - Golden Bay

"Te Waka a Maui" is Maui's Canoe - the South Island of New Zealand.

We started our 2008 trip to the South Island in Golden Bay and Nelson. It's a popular area in the summer, flooded with people from Christchurch during the school holidays that last all through January. Lots of sunshine - the best climate in New Zealand - pretty beaches and forests, many vineyards, good food - who could ask for more? I don't know why more people don't live there, but fortunately they don't. Of course, to get much further north than Nelson you have to wend your way over the winding roads of the impressive Takaka Hill, but the road is fine. We could be persuaded (easily) to return here for a longer vacation, preferably in February just after the pressure on campgrounds abates as the kids go back to school.

We came by ferry to Picton, down the long arm of the Queen Charlotte Sound, and took the winding coast road as far as Pelorus Bridge on a beautiful summer day. We camped with a sense of relief - finally we actually were in the South Island. First time in the South Island for Rose, and only the second time for me. Forty five years after my first visit. I must go more often.

We went on to the remarkable Museum of Wearable Art and companion Motor Museum in Nelson, then over the big Takaka Hill with its strange limestone rocks and caves, and on north as far as Farewell Spit (the last sight of New Zealand for ships sailing west). We spent a magical evening and following day at Wharariki Beach, and another grand day going to Totaranui Beach in Abel Tasman National Park - and to an absolutely huge fresh water spring at Te Waikoropupu.

Click on a photo for a larger image and a slide show.

  • 01 Dudley Arms in Pahiatua    A typical kiwi country pub, complete with beer garden
    01 Dudley Arms in Pahiatua A typical kiwi country pub, complete with beer garden
  • 01 Interisland Ferries in Queen Charlotte Sound at Picton
    01 Interisland Ferries in Queen Charlotte Sound at Picton
  • 02 Dental office in the old style  in Pahiatua
    02 Dental office in the old style in Pahiatua
  • 02 Queen Charlotte Sound near to Picton
    02 Queen Charlotte Sound near to Picton
  • 03 Camper and Camper
    03 Camper and Camper
  • 03 Kiwi History Back in the day, Kiwi babies' healthcare depended on the Plunket Society
    03 Kiwi History Back in the day, Kiwi babies' healthcare depended on the Plunket Society
  • 04 Its a pretty plain pub    so we will paint it orange
    04 Its a pretty plain pub so we will paint it orange
  • 04 Punga Tree in full glory
    04 Punga Tree in full glory
  • 05 Birth of a Punga Frond
    05 Birth of a Punga Frond
  • 05 Wairarapa countryside
    05 Wairarapa countryside
  • 06 A classic Bentley In the Classic Car Gallery in Nelson
    06 A classic Bentley In the Classic Car Gallery in Nelson
  • 06 Wairarapa countryside
    06 Wairarapa countryside
  • 07 A Q tip gown in the World of Wearable Art
    07 A Q tip gown in the World of Wearable Art
  • 07 Our trusty home and conveyance  (my cousin providing)
    07 Our trusty home and conveyance (my cousin providing)
  • 08 Now there is a classic BMW
    08 Now there is a classic BMW
  • 08 Pirinoa Church Also, perhaps, a typical old country church
    08 Pirinoa Church Also, perhaps, a typical old country church
  • 09 A Cadillac in the grand manner In the Classic Car Gallery
    09 A Cadillac in the grand manner In the Classic Car Gallery
  • 09 Pirinoa Church interior.  Wood (beautiful wood) everywhere
    09 Pirinoa Church interior. Wood (beautiful wood) everywhere
  • 10 A glorious Cord in the Classic Car Gallery
    10 A glorious Cord in the Classic Car Gallery
  • 10 Pirinoa Church
    10 Pirinoa Church
  • 11 Golden farmland near Cape Palliser
    11 Golden farmland near Cape Palliser
  • 11 Keep your hands off
    11 Keep your hands off
  • 12 A fine pair of spinners
    12 A fine pair of spinners
  • 12 Cape Palliser Lighthouse with a hell of a staircase for access
    12 Cape Palliser Lighthouse with a hell of a staircase for access
  • 13 An MG must be red
    13 An MG must be red
  • 13 Cape Palliser Lighthouse and fat and solid looking it is too
    13 Cape Palliser Lighthouse and fat and solid looking it is too
  • 14 It has been a long day.
    14 It has been a long day.
  • 14 Preparing to go on Tahunanui Beach
    14 Preparing to go on Tahunanui Beach
  • 15 Aaarhhhh
    15 Aaarhhhh
  • 15 This one is the casual expert
    15 This one is the casual expert
  • 16 Cape Palliser Lighthouse
    16 Cape Palliser Lighthouse
  • 16 There he goes   strolls down the beach, powers straight out, and next thing is up in the air
    16 There he goes strolls down the beach, powers straight out, and next thing is up in the air
  • 17 Should we notice them eh
    17 Should we notice them eh
  • 17 Some had more trouble
    17 Some had more trouble
  • 18 Coaching the little guys
    18 Coaching the little guys
  • 18 It is a fine coat if I say so
    18 It is a fine coat if I say so
  • 19 Do not wake
    19 Do not wake
  • 19 Lots and lots of beads
    19 Lots and lots of beads
  • 20 More and more beads   where will it lead
    20 More and more beads where will it lead
  • 20 Tough little blooms
    20 Tough little blooms
  • 21 Cape Palliser shoreline
    21 Cape Palliser shoreline
  • 21 Interesting beads they are too
    21 Interesting beads they are too
  • 22 In the cave on Takaka Hill
    22 In the cave on Takaka Hill
  • 22 Kindergarten class
    22 Kindergarten class
  • 23 First Sight of Wharariki Beach, in Puponga Farm Park
    23 First Sight of Wharariki Beach, in Puponga Farm Park
  • 23 Sleek
    23 Sleek
  • 24 Dunes and wind   it is wonderful when the wind dies down   not so great in strong winds
    24 Dunes and wind it is wonderful when the wind dies down not so great in strong winds
  • 24 and scruffy
    24 and scruffy
  • 25 Dramatic Evening on Wharariki Beach
    25 Dramatic Evening on Wharariki Beach
  • 25 Tinky Winky and friends waiting in Ngawi
    25 Tinky Winky and friends waiting in Ngawi
  • 26 Simple image
    26 Simple image
  • 26 Tinky Winky waiting in Ngawi
    26 Tinky Winky waiting in Ngawi
  • 27 Cape Palliser
    27 Cape Palliser
  • 27 Damatic rocks
    27 Damatic rocks
  • 28 Time served
    28 Time served
  • 28 Wharariki Sentinels
    28 Wharariki Sentinels
  • 29 Caught in the frame
    29 Caught in the frame
  • 29 Centre of town
    29 Centre of town
  • 30 Fading light   time to finish the wine and try to find the way home in the dark
    30 Fading light time to finish the wine and try to find the way home in the dark
  • 30 Sailing south onward to the South Island
    30 Sailing south onward to the South Island
  • 31 Was it you who stole my coat
    31 Was it you who stole my coat
  • 32 Sentinals by day
    32 Sentinals by day
  • 33 Glorious day for the beach
    33 Glorious day for the beach
  • 34 Nothing to do but wander about on the beach   what could be better
    34 Nothing to do but wander about on the beach what could be better
  • 35 Pretty the cliff walk too   it is a fine park
    35 Pretty the cliff walk too it is a fine park
  • 36 Puponga Park coastline
    36 Puponga Park coastline
  • 37 More coastline and Farewell Spit in the distance
    37 More coastline and Farewell Spit in the distance
  • 38 Big caves in the limestone cliffs too
    38 Big caves in the limestone cliffs too
  • 39 More sand   Wainui Inlet, on the way to Totaranui
    39 More sand Wainui Inlet, on the way to Totaranui
  • 40 Totaranui Beach   a popular spot in Abel Tasman National Park
    40 Totaranui Beach a popular spot in Abel Tasman National Park
  • 41 Happy camper
    41 Happy camper
  • 42 Te Waikoropupu (Pupu) Springs   This freshwater spring is huge
    42 Te Waikoropupu (Pupu) Springs This freshwater spring is huge
  • 43 And colourful
    43 And colourful