Motueka – chill time…

The rest of my time in Karamea was great. Made a good decision to stay another night. In the morning got chatting to a bloke called Warren over brekky. Top geezer.

Got some more good geological action. After a long drive down a gravel road, barely getting out of second gear and definitely not getting out of third got well into Kahurangi National park and a couple of cool caves.

Box Canyon Cave:

Box Canyon Cave, Oparara, New Zealand

Didn’t explore too deeply as it was dark and my torch was pathetic (and I couldn’t squeeze through the crevices with me back pack and camera … well that’s my excuse anyway).

After the caves, up to a loop track that took in Moria Gate, a huge limestone arch over a river:

Moria Gate, limestone arch, Oparara, New Zealand

and Mirror Tarn, another wonderfully still small lake with awesome mirror reflections (as the name would suggest):

Mirror Tarn, Oparara, New Zealand

Was going to do the other limestone arch a bit further down the road but was concentrating so hard on the road I missed the car park and was buggered if I was gonna go back. Turned out ok though as it meant I had time to get to the end of the road at Kohaihai, and the start of the Heaphy track (4-6 days walk to anywhere so I just did a little bit of it).

In the evening there happened to be some live music on in the bush cafe in Karamea, in the form of Andrew White on guitar, and Gillian Bouchet on violin. Good music, good night. Warren turned up and we chatted about music and London in the 60’s (when he lived there for a few years while on a ‘short visit’).

Got away yesterday for the long drive from Karamea to Motueka. En route, just out of Karamea, stopped up at Lake Hanlon, another stunning example of a mirror lake:

Lake Hanlon, Karamea, New Zealand

Further up the road stopped for a coffee at the Drifters Cafe in the delightful community of Granity. Definitely a place it would be easy to stay for a long time (and it seems a lot of ‘visitors’ have…)

Drifters Cafe, Granity, New Zealand

Then a quick-ish stop at the Tauranga Bay seal colony watching the seals frolick in the water, and watching the seal watchers:

Watching the seal watchers at Tauranga Bay Seal Colony, New Zealand

Eventually arrived in Motueka after a quick refreshment stop in Murchison:

Murchison and mountains from State Highway 6, New Zealand

Now staying for a couple of days with a friend of a friend who, in typical Kiwi fashion has let me park up my van, taken me to a party, let me know about all the top action going on around. I think I’m going to like it here…

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