It seems ages ago now, but a couple of days before the big Christchurch earthquake we had my sister-in-law to stay. Here are a few snapshots of a day we spent over in Golden Bay. Well, half a day really. We got there in time for lunch, so asked for a recommendation from some locals at the farmers market which was running at the time. They suggested a recent arrival called “Takaka Infusion“. It was a good choice. Great selection of fancy tea (not for me) and various breads etc. Including a proper rye sourdough.
Takaka is full of interesting arts and crafts , plus interesting people. Well, you could say that about the whole of Golden Bay really.
I was busy explaining to my sister-in-law how much I enjoy driving around Golden Bay in the winter. From almost every oncoming car you get a friendly wave from the driver. It feels great. But it doesn’t happen in the summer, I said, I guess there are too many tourists. “Oh I never wave in the summer” said the woman serving behind the counter in the art gallery we happened to be in. “I got sick of people who don’t wave back”. There it is.
On an impulse we went into a little store on the way back to the car park, called “SchnappDragon“. It sells liqueurs made from local produce. The shop was bigger than it looked from the front, with a large space out back containing several glorious copper stills. When I confessed that I was a chemical engineer in a former life, the owner insisted on showing me a whole set of boxed glassware: heating vessel, condensers, flanges, etc. It certainly took me back a few years.
He was a real enthusiast and a great salesman. After entering with no intention of buying anything, we walked away with a bottle each (Tangelo liqueur – tastes like cointreau).
This was obviously a guard dog, looking after their valuables.
A “must see” for any visit to the Bay is Pupu Springs. Clear spring water, said to be the clearest water in the world and described as ‘optically pure’, gushes up in large volumes from underground limestone systems that are all through this region.
A viewing platform with an inverted periscope gives visitors an underwater view.
The final stop before heading home was a walk along Tata Beach. In places it was littered with driftwood, brought down by the storms earlier in the year. But it always looks beautiful.