Welcome to Golden Bay
Trip Start Dec 07, 2013
92Trip End Mar 22, 2014
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Where I stayed
There is only one road into Golden Bay that was built only about 70-80 years ago. Before that it was only serviced by boat. It’s surrounded by two national parks – the Abel Tasman that has NZ’s most visited Great Walk and the Kahurangi that is NZ’s largest (I think this is correct) with another Great Walk but it’s mostly wilderness. We’re driving over Takaka Hill a steep and windy uphill and then a really steep downhill and it feels just like a rollercoaster. The first pullover we take has a view of Abel Tasman. The second pullover is near the top of the hill looking out towards Kahurangi with the Golden Bay valley below. There are thousands of shades of green – and my beloved tree fern is back in the landscape. This is beautiful country!
We drive through the valley with cattle and farms, and stop off in the town of Takaka. This is the main town of Golden Bay that is lined with funky organic 60’s cafes, local cooperative art galleries and what look like quirky shops. I have read that Golden Bay has the highest concentration of artists than in any other area of NZ and I’m curious to explore Takaka but that’s not for today. With a stop at the Fresh Choice to pick up groceries we are off for an additional 25 minute drive to the tiny town of a few hundred called Collingwood. And about three quarters of a kilometer past the town on a gravel road we find the sign "private drive" and proceed on to our home for the next six nights. We walk in the door and there is a piano! We’re surprised and Harvey is happy.
We have found a piece of paradise. The natural beauty and quiet sets us immediately at ease.
And the night sky! It’s so completely dark stepping only about 10 feet from the house that I feel like I’m being enveloped in it. I actually can’t believe my eyes. The Milky Way like I’ve never seen it before!