On the first day of our trip, we went all the way to Golden Bay. Google maps said it would take 5.5 hours; I figured that meant 8 or 9 hours for us, since we have to stop occasionally and were towing a camper with our van. The van really slows down going up hills by itself, let alone with a camper, so going over the mountains, I knew would be slow. We left here at 8:30 in the morning, and it was 5:30 when we arrived, so I wasn’t too far off. We did make a few stops, to fill up with diesel twice, once to view Maruia Falls, once to do a bit of grocery shopping in Motueka so we’d have enough food for the next few days, and again for a short walk to an overlook on top of Takaka Hill when we saw that we were making good time.
This first picture was taken while we were still heading for the Motueka valley; I liked that rock formation on the hill.
As far as I know, this is the only commercial orange grove on the South Island.
Going up Takaka Hill, between Motueka and Golden Bay.
Looking down from the top of Takaka Hill.
Esther on the path to the overlook on Takaka Hill.
Esther captured these two beautiful pictures.
And here is Mr. Diligence taking his own picture of the rock above!
Another view from the top, looking toward Motueka.
This rock is granite; the entire top of the hill is littered with it.