On the day we left Collingwood we took a planned detour to visit a most beautiful place near the town of Takaka - Te Waikoropupu Springs. Because my photos cannot do them justice, also look at them online here
It is a magical place; I understand the water has been filtered through rock for 10 years so it is extraordinarily clear. It has spiritual significance for Maori and the water is tapu, i.e. you are not allowed to get into it, take it, drink it or touch it.
DOC has done an amazing job on the pathway and the bridges and viewing platforms and the iwi's interpretation at the entrance by the carpark is beautiful.
|Looking into the bush from the path. You can see the difference between NZ bush and UK woods quite clearly in this photo - NZ bush has a lot of undergrowth and there is often little separation between the trees.|
|Growth under the water|
|The water is coming up to the surface and the ducks are avoiding that current.|
|I think there was more water coming up through smaller holes here. Such clear water.|
|DOC's notice politely asking (by thanking) people not to touch the water.|
|This wee bird was quite unafraid.|
|The pou whenua (poles of the land) surround the wharenui, with the touchstone in the centre.|
|A wider view of the wharenui with multiple support poles. The interp is visible around the sides of the wharenui.|| |
|wharenui = meeting house, Mana = status, Kaitiaki = guardianship, maunga = mountain, pounamu = greenstone|
|The explanations of natural phenomena in Maori mythology are quite beautiful - and make perfect sense in an era of non-scientific study.|
And then pakeha (Europeans, mainly British) came following the trail of gold.
|A lot of goldmining in this area.|
|Restoration 120 years later - a beautiful job|
And outside in the carpark:
| The ubiquitous weka - nothing fearful about them: they are always on the scrounge for food!|
|David photographed me photographing the weka. Good heavens, I am short - I can stand up in the doorway of the motorhome!|
And then it was gird the loins for the trip back over the Takaka Hill - actually not so bad on the return journey, in part because I knew what to expect, and in part because for a good portion of it we were on the upside of the high banks. And when we went past the roadworks this time, I was on the side with visibility and I could see that the drop off was no longer bottomless because the banks had been built up below the roadway to support the gabions.
But straight after the Takaka Hill we turned left to head over to Marahau - another hill to ascend and descend - but not as steep or long as Takaka.
It was only a short stay in Marahau and only because David had sailed there a couple of times with some friends back in the 1980s - what was then a quiet almost deserted golden bay is now a thriving settlement with beach houses, a pub/restaurant, a busy water taxi business and a very nice motorcamp.
And then it was points south and west in a determined fashion - otherwise we were never going to get around this whole island!