After reaching Nelson and catching up on our office work, we managed to squeeze in a brief trip to Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks. We had been planning on a weekend of hiking these national parks, famed for their coastal views and clear blue waters, but it didn’t quite go to plan…
We spent our first day travelling from Nelson to Takaka along the coastal road. The scenery and sunshine were stunning and it was interesting to pass through Motueka, which is an area known for its fruit production and hops. The fields were full of fruit trees and almost every other house sold bags of apples, kiwis, pears, feijoas and other sweet delights. We drove a little further along the winding road to Kaiteriteri and experienced the golden beaches that Abel Tasman is famous for – they certainly lived up to expectations and the postcard images we had seen.


When we arrived at Takaka we stayed at the YHA hostel ‘Annie’s Nirvana Lodge‘, which is very cosy and comfortable, and then visited the Department of Conservation office to decide upon our three long hikes for the weekend. As we relaxed at Annie’s in the evening, I walked across the garden in the dark and promptly tripped up a tiny garden wall. Thanks to the wall being made of rough stone and me being bare-foot, I sliced the bottom of my big toe right off and hopped around trying not to swear whilst also nonchalantly pretending THAT hadn’t happened. Ouch! Nick found it quite hilarious that I was convinced I’d be well enough for an eight hour hike the next day…I am ever the optimist! I think he knew then what I discovered the next day; that it would take a long time to heal and our weekend plans were out of the window. I couldn’t so much as put my toe on the ground for days.


21 The Toe 01
Interestingly though, it was the best thing that could have happened and we had a fantastic weekend. We spent our time exploring Takaka and got to know some of the lovely locals that live there. Takaka is a small town within Golden Bay and it sits between two magnificent national parks. It is known as an especially vibrant, artistic community and has great access to the surrounding hills, beaches and walking tracks. During our time there we hobbled our way to PuPu Springs, which are known for their exceptionally clear water, and to the nearby beaches. PuPu are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand and contain some of the clearest water ever measured in the world. The clarity of the water left us both speechless and this short video captures the beauty of the springs perfectly.



We also visited a small and lesser-known area called The Grove. This interesting piece of forest is tucked away from the tourist trail and has a very magical feel because of the rock formations amongst the trees and Fantail birds darting through the air. I hope you enjoy our short videos of the Fantails, which we often see on our forest walks, and of my attempts to walk.



Golden Bay itself is protected by a huge area of land known as Farwell Spit, which is a RAMSAR conservation site. The Spit is a migratory stopping-off point for over 20,000 birds and is of international significance. We thoroughly enjoyed driving to Farewell Spit and watching the windswept coastline before settling in at our camp by Takaka for one final night.


It is fair to say we fell deeply in love with the Golden Bay area and really didn’t want to leave Takaka. Having said that, we have fifteen events in Nelson to enjoy next and hope to be back in Golden Bay one day soon. Onwards we hobble!