Day 6 – Thursday 6th May 2010
This morning was an early start as our tour left at 6.30am. The Farewell Spit is 26klm long above sea level and is only the first 4 klms is accessible to the public. The tour we booked to go on is only one of two tour companies able to access the spit. Given access to the spit is determined by the tides the tours are not run as often in the winter season due to the shorter day light hours available. The tour company changes the tour time in line with the tide.
The early start was hard, we travelled 20kms to the Spit and I struggled to stay awake on the bus but we arrived and the sunrise was worth it.
The bus was designed to drive on the sand and coped really well. Our guide was excellent and he pointed out different birds as e travelled. The spit is a Sea Bird and wildlife reserve managed by the New Zealand Department of conservation.
The sand dunes were huge and move about 7 metres a year. Nicholas had great fun sliding down them (I confess I must be so unfit because we hardly walked on them at all and my calf muscles were sore the next day).
After playing on the dunes we drove to Cape farewell and watched some fur seals frolic around in the water. I kept an eye on the ocean hoping I may spot a whale but no such luck!
The tour took 6 and a half hours so we arrived back in Collingwood in time for lunch. We ate at the tavern and then grabbed an ice cream (best value ice creams around and they were yummy too!) for the road.
We had to double back the way we had come for the next stage of our trip so we tried to make up a bit for lost time. We drove back over Takaka Hill to Motueka and this is where we turned towards Murchison.
This was my absolute favourite scenery of the trip and if ever possible I would buy a holiday house in this part of New Zealand.
The river ran alongside the road and we passed vineyards and orchards with gorgeous houses. The colours were magnificent with reds, yellows and greens. The river beds are rock covered so the water is so clear and inviting. I am disappointed that we didn’t stop to take photos along the way in this area but you will just have to believe me, it was gorgeous!
We started to run out of daylight so we stopped for the night in a recreation area off the road and near the river, about 30kms out of Murchison. Collingwood to Murchison 214kms