Day 3. Mapua to Able Tasman (Via Golden Bay)

Today it rained, a lot. So, we decided to have a driving day. The drive from Mapau to Golden Bay (via Takaka Hill) follows some of the most scenic and exhilarating driving roads anywhere.

The first part takes you on a steep, windy accent up the mountain, before dropping into a flat valley between two mountain ranges.

We would “Ooh” and “Aah” every time there was a break in the shrubbery and we caught a glimpse of the surrounding mountains and fields of trees.

At the top of Takaka HIll we stopped at Harwood Lookout. We were breathless.  We were looking down at Takaka with the clouds low and the sun breaking through–it was incredible.


Golden bay

On a sunny day, Golden Bay has beautiful golden sand beaches with crystal clear blue water, today, not so much today however.  Nevertheless, we rocked on up to Ligar bay, went for a short stroll along the bay and cooked up some bacon and eggs.


Wainui Falls

Post feed, we donned the waterproofs and went on a short walk to Wainu falls. The track crosses farmland for a short distance before entering forest and climbing rapidly. Having actually read my camera manual this time around, I thought I’d play around with a low shutter speed, in my quest to capture a post-card perfect image with milky-white water flowing smoothly over rocky cliffs. The pics turned out ok, but the rain drops on my camera lens skewed the image slightly.

Able Tasman

We drove 2 hours to Able Tasman after our walk, staying in tiny town called Marahau, the entrance to the world-famous Abel Tasman National Park coastal track. We shacked up for the night at Old McDonald’s farm. Childhood dream!!

We spend the evening drinking wine, eating cheese and re-looking at our pictures from the last three days. I think my photography skills are improving as we go! I will master the camera.

Not only am I mastering the camera, but my culinary skills are improving also. I rustled a restaurant quality seafood linguine, with mussels, prawns and squid.


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