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Staying Near to 'Home'

Thursday 22nd of October 2015

semi-overcast 19 °C

I think I/ we are now starting to pace ourselves a little better and do not feel like we should be rushing around doing things everyday. It has helped that we have been spending more time in our own accommodation which means that we have been able to come and go as we please.

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This morning we just enjoyed being at the cottage, sorting through emails, blogging and the like. Nigel sat on the veranda, relaxed and listened to his radio. We had some lunch in the cottage and then we went out for a drive. The first place we visited was the Riwaka Resurgence which is about six or seven miles away down a narrow road past a number of farms.

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It was only a ten minute walk from the car park alongside the the Riwaka River. A little more than halfway we came to a beautiful turquoise blue pool fed from a small waterfall. The footpath then led up some steps which brought us out a little higher up, where the water bubbles out from an underground cave feeding the pool below. It is a place of cultural significance for the Mauri people and I felt that it had a very special and tranquil feel to it.

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Once we had finished exploring we drove back the way we had come and continued further up the main road to the Hawkes Lookout. Although it wasn't far, the road was very winding and steep and so I took quite a while to get to the turn off that led into the car park. Again it was quite a short walk to the lookout through karst rock formations where surface water has dissolved the calcium rich marble rock into interesting almost animalistic shapes.

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Maori stories provide a different explanation. The taniwha was a horrible lizard like creature who only thought about devouring men and snaring women until the beautiful Ruru, who was too clever for him, lulled him to sleep and escaped from his cave. With the help of her people they set a trap and once they captured him they set him on fire. He fled to Takaka Hill, the location of the lookout, where his charred scales were turned to stone.

We walked on the boardwalk that threaded its way between the rocks and the remains of the sinkholes, until we reached the lookout which gave us great views of the valley. The water that sinks through the hill later emerges at the resurgence, which we could see below us. As we looked out towards the coast we could see a layer of low cloud/ sea mist moving in. It was strange being able to see the land and the distant mountains separated by this white swirling layer.

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We returned to the car and drove back down the hill and instead of taking the most direct route to the cottage we drove the longer way round the loop of road that ran nearer to the coast before turning west and the south towards Fraser Highlands. We stopped of at Kaiteriteri to check our Sea Shuttle booking for the morning. That done we went back to the cottage where we watched to clouds swirling around the top of the neighbouring hills, before I went and cooked our evening meal.

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Posted by Gill's Travels 20:58 Archived in New Zealand Tagged rivers rock new_zealand abel_tasman

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