Our second full day at Pohara dawned overcast with cloud low over the mountains.
This morning we headed to ‘Pupu’ Springs. Te Waikorapupa Springs are the largest freshwater springs in the southern hemisphere and the clearest in the world. The walk around the area was very enjoyable and the water really is very clear. The springs/vents mean that the surface is continuously rippled but a glassed and mirrored viewing area allows you to see underwater and to see just how clear the water is.
After the walk the cloud had moved even lower, you could hardly even see the mountains. We headed into Takaka and walked up and down the main street, looking into the galleries, but not finding anything that we just had to buy. I wanted to have a look at a place called Timeless Creations, where they make unique merino clothing, but the building burned down just a few weeks ago, presumably with the antique knitting machine that you used to be able to watch them using. They don’t appear to have set up a new retail outlet yet.
While wandering along and looking in windows we discovered that the fishing that we’d been seeing in the creeks was for whitebait. Stephen tried a whitebait sandwich. The whitebait is cooked into a omelette style fritter and put between 2 pieces of white bread. He thought it was ok but at $10 for a single sandwich I don’t think he’ll run out and buy another one.
After enjoying a tasty lunch at Wholemeal Café, a local institution, we headed to Wainui Falls. This involved a pleasant 30 minute rainforest walk along a river to the waterfall; crossing the river at one point by a rope swing bridge. Only one person was allowed on the bridge at a time and even then it was pretty bouncy. We saw lots of really tall black tree ferns, Mamukas, which grow to 20m. We also saw a goat along the opposite side of the river at one stage – still wearing his woolly winter coat. Once again lots of birds were photographed, I’ll have to buy a bird book next time I see a bookshop.
The afternoon cleared, though it remained overcast and chilly. Not too chilly to eat tea out on the deck, but no sign of the hedgehog tonight.
Tomorrow is a long day in the car, heading back up around Takaka Hill to Motueka and across to Westport on the west coast.