Wednesday evening we made it as far as Collingwood, on Golden Bay. We decided to stay two nights in that campground, as there were a number of things we wanted to do close by and it was as far north as we were able to go. How nice not to have to take down tents and load and tie down the trailer Thursday morning!
The boys were up at the crack of dawn again, down at the beach to see what they could find. This was the prize find–same boy who found the weta the day before–a dead shark! One person told us it was a dog fish; another said a carpet shark. Either way, it was fascinating.
Sunrise over Golden Bay. This is high tide.
Grandma found a good place for her devotions just above the high tide line.
The morning’s beachcombing finds.
We drove up along the coast to Farewell Spit that morning. These are some of the mud flats we passed in an estuary along the way–high tide.
The base of Farewell Spit. It is an enormous sandbar stretching 26 km (16 miles) into the Tasman Sea. Four people walked a few kilometers out on it; I stayed back with the youngest five boys. This is the inside of the spit. I happened to overhear a tourguide telling the group he was with that there are 2 million hectares of land in the nature preserve here at high tide; 11 million at low tide!
They found several jellyfish stranded by the receding tide.
Mud flats and the spit.
After eating our picnic lunch, we drove to Cape Farewell, named because it was the last sight Captain Cook had of New Zealand.
The boys ran up the hill above the overlook. Rather nerve-wracking for Mom and Grandma, envisioning boys getting too close to the sheer cliff dropping down to the sea!
The mudflats in the estuary at low tide, on our way back to Collingwood.
This is the beach at our campground when we arrived back in the afternoon, at low tide! What a difference. The tides rise 5 meters here (16 feet).
It was cold, but the boys played in the water anyway. The older boys were able to wade through the chest-deep water to the sand bar, and decided to build a raft so they could ferry the little boys across.
Before the raft could be built, the tide turned and the water was rising too fast.
They built sand castles instead.
This is the same place a few hours later, with the tide about halfway in.