The bin men came early but I suppose that was understandable if one is parked in a public place. So an early breakfast and today we made for Takaka. It's up toward the Golden Bay and Farewell Spit. We didn't get as far as the Spit because no vehicles are allowed along the dune. It is a wetland bird nature reserve and only the local licensed guides can take you to see them and only by bus. Instead, we found a place called Te Waikoropupu Springs. The "Pupu" springs are home to the clearest spring water in the world (the only place with clearer water is the salt water Weddell Sea in Antarctica). Underwater clarity tests have shown the water from the springs to have underwater visibility of 63 metres! All contact with the water is forbidden as the springs are 'sacred treasure' to the local Maori.
Doesn't the weather look perfect? Well, it changed in an instant.
And then it changed again for the better.
Driving back to Motueka we stopped at Ngarua Caves which contain a variety of limestone cave formations. At $20 pp it was very reasonable for the 45 minute underground experience. Inside was Moa bones carbon dated 24,890 years old. We walked about 300 meters in the underground caverns and at one point the lights were switched off for us to experience total darkness. We all finally emerged after a steep ladder climb to find ourselves some way away from the cave entrance but that view that greeted us....amazing.
|Back at the carpark.|
And the wildlife,
|Does Karate kid come to mind?|