John and Rosanne Matheson took a group of 16 cruising and walking in the Pelorus Sound – staying aboard a small ship on the Sound and walking each day meant we were able to reach areas inaccessible by road and experience the quiet natural beauty of this special area.
Walking in the lush beech and podocarp forest is peaceful as we looked down on the crystal clear blue water of the Sound. Crossing the saddle of the Nydia Track provides stunning views and as we ate our picnic lunch we are joined by friendly wekas. Returning to the boat in the late afternoon to enjoy a refreshing drink in the sheltered waters of remote bays is a perfect end to the walk.
After four nights on board the Affinity ship on the Sounds, we headed into gorgeous Golden Bay which spread out before us as we came over the Takaka Hill.
We stayed at a luxurious lodge on the beach at Pohara and here we met up with Christine and John Crocker who live here and have travelled on many Calder & Lawson Tours over the years. Many of our group had travelled with them before and we were delighted to catch up with them. They were generous hosts and gave us lots of good advice about the best walks in the area. John came with us when we walked from Totaranui to Wainui, the least walked part of the Abel Tasman track.
One of the highlights of the tour was a day to Farewell Spit. After having flown over and looking down at this narrow finger of sand stretching out into the sea many times, it was exciting to see it in person. The best way to experience this wetland of international importance is on a 4WD safari. Home to many bird species, some of which fly from the northern hemisphere to spend their summers here, we saw godwits, knots, turnstones and gannets as we drove along the Spit. The lighthouse, built in 1869 is a tall, impressive structure. While we are in the area, we also explored the amazing cliffs in the Puponga area and walked down to the spectacular Wharawhariki Beach.
Apart from one day of rain we had beautiful blue-sky days to enjoy the stunning walks and scenery of this lovely part of New Zealand.
Andrew Matheson is taking a second repeat tour to Pelorus Sound & Golden Bay in January 2021 and we will plan to come back again next summer.