We both slept very well but woke up to heavy rain pounding the van so we weren't in a huge rush to go out and do some sight-seeing. We travelled North all the way to Farewell Spit and tried to enjoy as much of the scenic drive as we could, although visibility was pretty limited. We had lunch before exploring the very Northerly point of the South Island and were grateful the rain had stopped. Dan had a coffee in a cafe, which was perched on top of the cliffs overlooking the Spit and then we headed down to the beach and walked a little way along before turning back. Once back in the car park we climbed to the top of the hill to the viewpoint, in which you are supposed to be able to see the Spit in full glory and Abel Tasman behind you but due to the bad weather we couldn't. But, what we could see was very beautiful. The tide was out so the bay stretched out in front of us before finally reaching the sea, with lots of little pools dotted along the sand. The hills were so green and it was good to see SOMETHING enjoying the miserable weather!
From there we drove West for 6 km towards Wharariki Beach and parked up. It was still dry and it was starting to clear although I noticed some nasty weather moving in. No sooner had we left the van did the Heavens opened, and they really did. We were in our raincoats but the rain lashed down and we ran for cover under a nearby tree. We stood there for a couple of minutes debating what to do, whether to turn back or get ridiculously wet. We chose the latter option, and we were very glad we did. We got completely soaked but after walking for 15 minutes in order to reach the beach it had stopped and cleared some more and we were rewarded with the most rugged, wildest beach I have ever seen. The waves were so high I thought if the boys were here they would be finding some excuse NOT to surf! The sand stretched along for miles with tall sand dunes at the edge of the beach. There were a handful of people there also braving the elements but no more than ten. It was so beautiful and we spent a good hour exploring, walking in and out of the caves and watching the waves crash against each other, making more noise than thunder. When we headed back to the car the mist had cleared up quite a bit and we were able to enjoy the beautiful valley we had walked through initially without realising it was there.
We travelled back down towards Motueka, enjoying the countryside now that we could see it, and we stopped a few times to take photos of the valley as we climbed Takaka Hill, which is part of a scenic reserve.
It was almost 8pm when we arrived back at Motueka so we pulled into the first site we came to and parked up. I immediately put some washing on and made dinner. I only had enough dollar coins for 30 minutes in the dryer, which I knew wasn't going to be long enough because I had washed the sheets and towels as well as our clothes. The office was already closed for the night and I started to wonder how we were going to sleep in wet sheets but on my way back to the van I passed someone who was able to swap coins with me and we had a warm, dry clean bed again. That will teach me to be so domesticated!