Weds 3rd October: Golden Bay
Waking up overlooking the glorious Wainui Bay was a wonderful way to wake up – again to glorious blue skies. The weather has just been so kind to us, we are so thankful, but also know it can’t last forever! So I will come to the heading regarding the ‘adventure’ in just a bit – but take a look at the picture above and the ‘warning sign’ and read on!
We have spent today exploring the golden bay area which we have enjoyed. We visited Pupu Springs – which is the clearest freshwater springs in the world and the water was really clear! We also stopped briefly at Labyrinth Rocks – an interesting place I suppose but not sure it warrants the woman in the information centre telling us it was amazing! There was little plastic characters (Smurfs, Madge Simpson, Ronald McDonald) dotted all over the rocks though which seemed to fascinate my husband, John, more! A quick stop for food, a trip to Abel Tasman Memorial lookout and we headed for Wainui Falls. Having read about the walk online prior to our visit I thought I knew what we had in store – I was wrong! . . . Anyone reading this planning to go I don’t want to put you off but it was a very scary experience! The walk itself is quite a trek – not so much in distance (it is a 1 hour 20 min round trip from the car park), but it is dangerous in places with very steep ups and downs, often on the edge of the river bank with rushing water and rocks below! We managed the walk though only to come upon a swing rope bridge. I knew it was coming but still wasn’t prepared for it! It was made of metal type rope with a big sign saying 1 person only! Stepping up onto it the whole thing shook and I actually did not think I would be able to cross it. It just seemed so dangerous. It was quite high, and crossed a rushing river and rocks with only a thin wire to hang on to and a small amount of protection at the sides. I read that they don’t advertise the rope bridge as think it will put people off coming – I understand why! Still, we are on an adventure and I have a strong sense of adventure so decided to go for it. I think I cried myself across the first half, but was worried I would be paralysed halfway and not be able to get there or back. I found myself singing songs to get myself through it, and with a quarter left my legs then began to shake. I somehow managed to make it, full of relief, and watched as John crossed. Some people reading this might not think it would be that scary but all I can say is don’t judge until you have tried it! We then walked/climbed the rest of the way and arrived at the falls. A beautiful sight (pics in my gallery below) but was it worth the incredible scare? Possibly. Possibly not! The fear of going back across the bridge meant we took a few pictures and then headed back. We crossed safely and headed home – exhausted but exhilarated after living up to our New Zealand adventure! 🙂