Our second full day at Golden Bay began with a short hike along the Pupu Hydro Walkway. The trail retraces an old, 3 km long, gold-mining water race, which was later reused for power generation.
|Pupu Hydro Power Station - the smallest power station on New Zealand's power grid|
The water race follows the steep contours of the hillside and is part canal and part aqueduct. At the downstream end the water was piped downwards with a drop of 123 meters to give the gold sluices enough pressure to work the river gravels of the valley floor. In 1902, it was considered an engineering masterpiece when a party of eight men completed the construction in only six months.
|Outfitted with life vests and spray skirts, which are then attached to the boat to prevent water from entering the kayak.|
In the afternoon, Julian, Cora, and I went on a guided sea-kayak trip at the northern end of Abel Tasman National Park.
|Julian and I took one of the kayak's and Cora shared the Love Boat with our tour guide.|
A stiff sea breeze was blowing towards the shore and the water was rather choppy.
|After paddling around some rocks we went ashore in an adjacent bay.|
Paddling against the wind and the incoming waves was hard work and progress was slow.
I was amazed as to how stable sea-kayaks were in the rough sea, and I would feel entirely comfortable touring in one, even in colder waters.
|Low tide at Farewell Spit exposes a vast area of mud flats.|
Later that evening we followed the road further north until we reached its end at the so-called Farewell Spit. This is a narrow and 25 km long sand spit, which was named by James Cook, who, in 1770, became the second European to ever set eye on New Zealand. Upon leaving the islands for Australia he named the spit Cape Farewell, and the name stuck.
|On top of an overlook (Puponga Hill) at Farewell Spit.|
The spit is an internationally renowned bird sanctuary. On its southern side, the tide can recede as much as seven kilometers, exposing up to 80 square kilometers of mud flats.
|Puponga Inlet from Puponga Hill|
|View of Golden Bay from Puponga Hill|
|Practicing the art of the double-selfie|
|W as in wind?|
|Posing for a portrait of a selfie, a selfie portrait?|
|Flying experiments at Puponga Hill|
|Flying experiments II at Puponga Hill|
|Fun times atop Puponga Hill|
|Groupie at Puponga Hill|