After all our previous travelling, we had one extra day on the Golden Bay peninsula and what better way than to spend it doing virtually nothing but lounging about on the beach. After all from Puponga in the west to Pohara in the east, there is a string of shallow, fine sand beaches to choose from.
Having explored the most northerly end at Farewell Cape, we drove a couple of hours from Collingwood to the other end of the Bay and settled on Pohara Beach
High summer and all along the way, grass covered moraines were golden dry (more about moraines in another post). The frequent ‘Fire Danger Today’ signs were set to high so even parking the car required some thought about only seeking bare ground.
Golden Bay is not named for its light sand beaches, or its glorious sunshine days but literally for that rare and much sought after mineral – GOLD!
As early as 1853, traces were found in the Aorere valley, and larger deposits were opened up in 1857. Some 2,500 men spread out from Collingwood working alluvial gravels.teara.govt.nz
“On the West Coast and at Golden Bay, gold is found in older Paleozoic greywacke and argillite rocks in faulted areas called shear zones.”[marked in brown on the map]
but our thoughts were not on mining history but on making the most of the day – looking over to the right and the sheltered Pohara harbour and Tata headland beyond with its two satellite islands
To the left, a long white cloud hangs over the Kahurangi mountains
clouds dissipated though with the midday sun illuminating all along the northern spur of Golden Bay right up to Farewell Spit
As the day progressed the sheen and reflections on the inter tidal sands went from gold to silver
Next time – Hokitika here we come