Heading north finally brought some sun. We couldn’t drive there fast enough and wee ended up staying for three nights at the Top 10 Holiday Park in Motueka. The town itself was nothing to write home about, but we stayed for two reasons: (1) it was a good base to explore the gorgeousness in the surrounding areas, like the fantastic Golden Bay (above), and, more importantly, (2) I got a second chance at using a jumping pillow. The jumping pillow at the Top 10 in Greymouth comes highly recommended, so I was quite disappointed when the rains on the West Coast turned it into a big, slick accident waiting to happen. When we pulled into the Top 10 in Motueka and saw it too had a jumping pillow, well, we headed straight over.
We knew we were getting close to Motueka when roadside stalls started popping up. It was harvest time for apples, pears, and feijoas (strange fruit the Kiwis love) so we picked up a huge bag of apples for $2NZD. We also grabbed some beans at this roadside stall operating on the honor system.
Heading up and over Tasman Hill towards Golden Bay, you can see sheep, pastures, orchards, and sea for miles.
Our lunch spot in Golden Bay. As we were preparing lunch in our campervan, a woman came from one of the houses across the road from the beach carrying a tray. She brought it over to this bench and ate lunch in a way that made me think that this is part of her daily routine. I could get used to such a routine.
Golden Bay actually didn't look so golden, but it has miles of untouched sand covered with seashells.
Collingwood is the town at the end of the line unless you take a tour out to the split. We found homemade chocolate in Collingwood and that was good enough for us.
Te Waikoropupu Springs has some of the clearest fresh water in the world and is considered to be a sacred spot for the Maori, the native New Zealanders. They used to have ceremonies here for births, deaths, and leaving and returning of travelers.