Saturday, May 08, 2010

Nelson to Golden Bay

My plan for an early start to the day was hindered by some difficulty with paying for the 3 nights B&B in Nelson. I booked all my stays with a reservation agency and all worked fine in Wellington but in Nelson the host wanted my credit card details herself. After a long telephone call to the agency to convince her that I had already given these and payment would be made via the agency. A lesson learnt for my onward stays.

The route to Golden Bay is easy  –you just keep going west along route 60, past the vineyards, orchards and diary herds that are a good part of this region’s economy. Its a great day for travelling –a cloud free sky and only the occasional other vehicle. My first stop is Mapua for coffee and a freshly baked muffin with harbour views and a photography gallery full of local shipping history. At this time of the year in the sunshine it was idyllic –I’m sure it gets very busy during the summer.P1010628

Soon I reached Motueka and along the deserted stony beach at high tide I spotted white faced herons, a pair of variable oyster catchers (they are black, just 4000 exist & only in NZ) and then a pair of white herons perched on a rusted wreck. 







P1010666  P1010663

Onward to Takaka driving in and out of sun and shade over Marble Mountain with its 365 bends, tapestry of trees and 360 views. Near the summit a sign asks  are you ready for a miracle –an indication of the alternative lifestyle in the Bay! Well, my miracle was Golden Bay coming into sight through the trees and Takaka Valley spread out below.P1010680 Amongst the many things I now know I’ve forgotten about the three years I lived here is the beauty of that Valley as it sweeps seaward to Golden Bay.





Through Takaka, past Motupipi and I was soon at Heather’s house on Able Tasman Drive for another reunion. Heather and her family were our neighbours in Pohara Valley Road from 1957-1960 so there was lots of catching up for us to do.P1010804  We have some old photos but there are some faces that neither on of us can name.


  1. Hi,lived in Takaka and went to Pohara Valley School in late 50's for 4+/- years. Sorry don't recall your face/name but have very happy memories. Am visiting NZ Feb 2011 hope lots of those will come flooding back. Trying to trace an old school-friend Drew Hunter?
    Good blog

  2. Hi Anonymous
    Well my name has changed and not unexpectedly so has my face! Drew Hunter is a familiar name ... and I have photos from Don Millar that include Drew and others at the school, including my sister Beverley. We have a brother Graham and lived about half way down Pohara Valley Road. We all came out from England for 3 years as our Dad helped to install the new kiln at the cement works -now, of course, all gone. It would be good to have a few more details about you -are you happy to share your contact email. Hope your travels go well in Feb ... I had a wonbderful time.