Sunday, 13 April 2014

Exploring The Top Of The South...

 This is a map of the whole of the Golden Bay area...
Clifton and Pohara at the bottom and Farewell sand spit
across the top...

 This one from Tarakohe and Pohara, where I am, to Takaka...

 From Takaka north to Collingwood...

 And from Collingwood to Puponga and Farewell Spit.

This map is the top of the West Coast... The Wanganui Inlet...
Generally referred to by the locals as Westhaven.
I was out and about for the day with two friends. Our destination was
 Anatori where the Anatori river mouth is. Apparently it's a great
white-baiting spot, there are a few old white-baiters huts... But it's not the season.
There are also two areas for freedom parking, with some people...
A tent and a motor home, enjoying the wilderness and solitude.
I'm told it's a place that floods easily when it rains so if you go
there keep that in mind.

We set off... Our first stop was the Farewell Spit cafe with
very nice coffee and a selection of delicious food.
The most spectacular was the view. It was a cloudy
day so we couldn't see the spit, and the tide was out.
There is a telescope but even with that it was too cloudy.

There is a walkway down to the sand and you can walk along the
inside of the spit to the pine trees in the distance. I want to go
back by myself and do that. There is also Farewell Spit tours
that go along the beach as far as the lighthouse.  
I did that years ago but would like to do the trip again. 
There is another walkway that goes
over farmland then over sandhills to Wharariki... A hard flat
west coast beach with rocks sculpted by the wind.
I kept a look out for parking for my bus when I go back there
and take my time to explore in more detail. Wharariki Beach
Motor Camp would be the place.

We went back to the Pakawau Inlet and turned west onto a gravel
road that went a long way. Along Pakawau Bush Road, turn into 
Dry Road and just keep going.

These photos are a few glimpses of the inlet as we drove along.

We passed places called Muddy Creek, White Pine Creek, Bone
Creek... All with narrow bridges and nowhere much on
the side of the road to stop.

The is the mouth of the Wanganui Inlet... Bar Point on the right
and Melbourne Point on the left.

We came to Mangarakau and found this old wharf...
Still in use. It's where the Crayfish boats load up their pots...

Which is what the two men on this boat were doing.
I love eating crayfish so I asked if they would take a passenger?
They were more than happy but weren't returning till Tuesday.
Three days in a little boat if the weather turned rough...
Much as I wanted to go I declined.

On the information board are graphic pictures and a warning
about the weather and the bar at the inlet entrance.
Mmm... It would have to be very calm for me to go.
We continued our journey...


  1. I haven't Freedom Camped there, I must try it...

  2. We spent two weeks at the camp ground in Pohara in July 2012. While there we took a scenic flight from Takaka over to Anatori, then up the coast and out over Farewell Spit, then across to Separation Point, and finally back over Pohara and back to the aerodrome. 50 minutes in the air with a good friendly and knowledgeable pilot.
    A couple of days later we also drove over to the coast, but not as far as Anatori. We had lunch on the beach at the Paturau River Mouth.

    We were back in Takaka in Mid March this year and I spied your bus as we were heading through Pohara to have lunch at the new pizza cafe beyond the Wainui Inlet on the Totaranui Road. Wonderful spot and great Pizza!! The "Naked Possum" and "Mussel Inn" are two other memorable eateries experienced while there. A unique and delightful part of NZ.