Our last day already, here at the Northern top of the New Zealand South Island. The weather is fine again, we still trust our travel guide and head for some of the named landmarks. At first we go to the East, along the shore to see the „Abel Tasman Monument“. The monument itself is not that impressive, but the views are. The mountains in the background look kind of alpine, we feel like being in the German region called Allgäu. It is only the water coloured bay in the foreground that does not really fit. And penguins are supposed to live here! This route heading towards Abel Tasman National Park is definitely worth a tour.
Our second destination for today is called "The Grove Scenic Park“. Wind and weather by and by have created a landscape of bizarre lime rocks, the whole area is meanwhile covered by woods. It just takes half an hour to walk the loop road, anyway: this really is my special highlight of the day. Only five meters from the car park you are already in the middle of an enchanted forest. On our journey through New Zealand we primarily focus on nature, myths and culture of the Maori we only touch peripherally. However here in “The Grove” we feel a very intensive spiritual magic, it is as if a small crack opens to this world, we are totally silent. Back on the car park we see a man meditating. Obviously we are not the only ones to be attracted by the magic of this place.
On our way home we make a detour to the Pupu Springs, fresh water springs 3km behind Takaka. They belong to the 60 biggest fresh water springs worldwide. Only underneath Ross ice shelf you find clearer water.
They built several loop tours leading through the area, 45 minutes take you along the outer route. It’s hot today, I would love to just sit down somewhere on the river banks and let my feet dangle in the water. Unfortunately impossible, the whole river is virtually barred. They have to treat the water with certain poisons to cope with an annoying alga which has been imported some time and is now spreading dangerously. Danger signs warn to avoid any contact with the water. The shadow in paradise. Besides this loop road is well worth seeing and very informative.
Late in the afternoon we finally head again towards Farewell Spit. I absolutely want to go back to Fossil Point to visit the Fur Seals. It takes 30 minutes from the visitor centre to the beach, the footpath crosses farmland. We feel like being on a cross-country orienteering hike – who is the first to find the next orange flag? Slowly we work ourselves across sheep meadow to the dunes.
It is now late in the afternoon, we are alone again, all other walkers already went home. Now the birds are showing, one section of the path lies beneath old gnarled conifers, up to the dunes overgrown with grass. This little wood is full of Fantails! We stop for a long time and just listen to the song of the birds. Suddenly a weasel appears on a root directly in front of us. I don’t know who is startled more – the weasel or we. And it already disappears in the high grass.
On the beach we again enjoy the seals though we don’t stay very long. The Oyster Catchers are very nervous and do not stop ranting, we are again attacked. We at once stop searching for fossils as Gernot sees an egg lying in the sand on that very spot. We don’t want to disturb the family peace.