A trip to Golden Bay with my learner driver and toddler son. A beautiful day to the other side of “the hill”, not only to practise driving, also to hang out a bit.

The day started not so clear but still impressively orange.
Still quite early in the Morning, we packed ourselves in the Suzuki and crossed over!
First looks into Golden Bay, the upper regions of the Kahurangi are dusted with snow! The zig-zagging highway isn’t scary, but it is a very steep and winding road with 257 corners, some almost 320 degree hairpins.
Looking down from Rocky Angle corner lookout. The wide road surface is extremely well maintained and has numerous layoffs where slower moving vehicles can allow others to pass. It is a slow road to drive.
Looking back into the valley to the South, there are some snow clouds brewing down the Cobb.
But we’re going north, along the Takaka river and countless sheep farms.
Trees, fences, clouds are flying by while we chat and sing ourselves closer and closer to town.
Welcome to Takaka!
Mural hunting :) This one was created on December 6, 2000
37 Commercial Street, Tākaka 7110, New Zealand, by Chris Finlayson (2000) Village Green Society – The mural is a community inspired project – Painted by 48 people.
Mural piece of Powelliphanta superba prouseorum, found in Kahurangi National Park and measuring about 9 cm across. These are the sumo wrestlers of the snail world, weighing in at 90 g, or the equivalent of a tui! Funfact: They are carnivores and particularly like earthworms, suck them up through their mouth just like we eat spaghetti.
Shops at the main street… Nature inspired designs at dragonfly, very fitting for the free spirit community here :)
Random detail of one of the shops, the tui really caught my eye.
The Wild West of NZ.
One of the last traditional NZ Dominion Brewery pubs left in this country … opened about a hundred years ago, a character building. One day we will stay a night!
The main road, very few cars because it’s winter, usually it would be brimming full.
By Chris Finlayson, ‘Band Aid Bondage’ on the side of the Village Theatre on Commercial Street
The sightseeing has made us hungry, we fall into the Wholemeal Cafe, basically the only open restaurant at the time, not a lot going on here on Sundays!
Choose food, choose table, be entertained by the artsy decor, get those curly fries and be utterly happy.
Steal Mama’s marshmallow (not to eat, just because of the funny texture).
But all good things end, and we make an emergency exit.
The day is young, so we go even further north to the Pupu walk.
Te Waikoropupū Springs, main platform. These are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water ever measured.
These springs are of great spiritual significance to the local iwi, Ngati Tama, and since 2007 it has been forbidden to swim in, drink or even touch the water here.
But the board walk allows close views, this spot is called “dancing sands”.
The short detour was beautiful, but we need to go back asap cause these snow clouds look a bit threatening. The Takaka Hill Saddle is almost at 800 m, this could be a close call… let’s go home!
A bit blue is still showing, but we trust our guts here.
Can’t park here, mate.
The snow got us! The tiny whit spreckles on the picture is flying crystals, swirling through the air. Not good news for our old, worn tyres but we carry on carefully.
From the saddle to the Northeast, probably the coast north of Nelson, from Glenduan to Taipare and Patuki (northernmost point on D’Urville Island).
Already going down on the eastern side, the Moutere and Waimea plains shine in the background.
We made it down in one piece! Already almost at the Kaiteri turnoff.
On the Motueka River bridge, the weather is always considerably better on this side of the river ;)
Still, today ends with a rainbow! :D


Donations in form of Darbo Preiselbeer Kompott are greatly appreciated ;)