Collingwood on Golden Bay

Trip Start Jan 14, 2008
Trip End Feb 21, 2008

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our travels now have brought us to the tiny town of Collingwood, which is on Golden Bay. It is about as far northwest as you can go on the South Island. Across the water we look at Farewell Spit. We've stayed the last two nights at the Collingwood Motorcamp which is located just at the end of the main street (read: the only street) at the point where the Aorere River empties into the bay. We arrived to an excited camping ground where all the talk was of the cyclone that crashed waves at the foot of peoples campsites and blew some tents around. Luckily for us, by the time we arrived the sun was out as the storm had quickly moved on to the south. The river, however, was still in flood and was quite the sight to see as it ripped its way by the town.
It feels good to have had a few days off with nothing really planned. We have not felt so leisurely since well before we left the States. Yesterday morning we struck up a conversation with a couple from down Dunedin way while eating breakfast in the communal kitchen. In true New Zealand fashion we soon found ourselves invited to go scalloping with them an hour or so later. It seems they'd heard that the man who owned the local pub was frequenly known to take folks out on his boat. As you can see from the photo, our trip was a success and we had sauteed fresh scallops for lunch. Yum!
Today we repacked our packs and then hit the small grocery store for supplies. We will take a bus out to the trailhead for the Heaphy Track at 6 pm. Tonight we'll stay in our first DOC hut (Brown Hut) and then spend the next five days on the Heaphy Track. Lets hope the gorgeous, warm , sunny weather we are having now holds for the tramp. If so, we'll be fortunate indeed. The West Coast of New Zealand, which is where this tramp will take us, averages three meters of rain per year. Do the math. That measures floor to ceiling in a nine foot high room! I'll sign off for now and turn this thing over to Sidney. Should all go well, you'll hear from us again in five or six days from somewhere on the West Coast.


P.S. We had a lot of fun in Collingwood. Scalloping was excellent, and it was really worth the stay. NZ is a truly excellent country.

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dannyhiker on

Heaphy - you lucky folks!!
You won't get this till you come off the Heaphy track. I hope the mosquitoes (or mozzies) weren't too bad. I remember the long slog up to the hut but that was nothing compared to the mosquitoes on the coast. Still, it's a great track.
Since you swam on the Abel Tazman track, you'll probably be in the water here too.
We're having very cold, windy weather. Enjoy what you have.

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