There is another place aside from the Bay of Plenty where the sunshine hours are plentiful with brown sugar coloured sand beaches. Which makes this a hotspot for most visitors and locals heading to the Nelson area in Aotearoa.
If you have a steadfast soul and are a lover of walks, you get to discover a region where the beaches are shared with exotic animals more than humans.
Where is Takaka?
For some reason, this place feels so far, far away. In reality, it’s only approximately 100kms drive from Nelson via Motueka, then up and over the Tākaka hill or ‘marble mountain’ hill. Taking at least an hour due to it’s the windy road.
There are a few places in New Zealand that I would class as being a full-on destination rather than a stop on the way to somewhere else and Takaka is one of those places.
There is one road in, one way out.
The 791 metre Takaka Hill is the gatekeeper to the area which, every year vies with Nelson to head the sunshine hours’ leaderboard. Though rarely beating the Bay of Plenty for sunshine hours. Oh, did I mention that we Kiwi’s aren’t at all competitive when it comes to bragging rights regarding sunshine rays?
That hill deters the hater of heights alongside sheer drops and sharp corners not to mention those prone to carsickness, the readily impatient and the apt to be indecisive.
For us, there were rewards for getting over all those issues in the form of pure waters at Te Waikoropupū Springs (formerly Pupu Springs), pristine beaches and family to visit.
Then the pinnacle of all delights is the gritty yet gentle spirit that attracts the like-minded. Artists, creators of craft and the flower children of the past. Many still have their roots firmly entrenched in this area. Referred to as hippies or the alternative lifestylers, whatever label you chose to use their spunk gives Golden Bay its soul and that million-miles-away feel.
Then there is the main reason for our trip over that hill. My brother and his family have resided there for well over 20 years. More visits were required when a baby made her entry into the family fold.
Below a younger version of us at Milnthorpe beach. A place where trees were planted by our family for future generations and to remember our very special nephew Noah who only got to live for a few days though will forever be in our hearts.
With reflection, the best time trip for us was the first. That time was by car. The motorhome trips were fraught with hassles such as narrow gates and surrounding potholes. Like the time we made a not so grand entrance into my brother’s property. The great news is, after many years, my brother has recently fixed the gate and pothole, and we no longer have our motorhome.
Life really is all about timing.