Golden Bay

Sun 19 Dec 2010 03:06
Spent the night at Golden Bay - renamed as the N-Zealanders thought building a holiday resort around Murderer's Bay might put people off. Caroline's only bad night of sleep as our cabin was next to the camp shop, being refurbished with all the freezers outside, humming away. The manager of the Pohara Beach Top 10 already knew of the problem, but hadn't bothered to warn us or offer a discount. Fortunately the friendliness and helpfulnes of Kiwis is legendary and this is one of our few Pommie whinges.
Farewell Spit is renowned for whales and dolphins and a very large gannet colony, so we saw lots of  - black swans - as we drove past. The views from the Paddling Crab Cafe are renowned, but this was only our second day of torrential rain so the view was reduced; and this after leaving the reputed We(s)t Coast where we had grown used to dry sunny days.
Cape Farewell is the northernmost point of South Island and we wandered there in furious winds and watched sealions surfing in the waves and hunting the same fish as a shag (to its dismay).
Followed by a trek through more LOTR forest to Harwoods Hole the biggest karst in the Southern Hemisphere at 183 m deep. The guide says if you can see the bottom you are falling down the hole! It was soaking wet with the path resembling a stream: still an enjoyable walk - the forest was so pretty. Ended with the usual robins who stand and look at you until you scuff the ground with your feet to make it easy for them to grab the grubs, saving them a lot of beak work.