One of the loveliest things to do on an extended beach break is the meander on the beach at all hours.
There was plenty of opportunity to do that in Collingwood as the town is on a huge sand spit.
One can wander about in all directions for hours upon end, often without seeing another soul.
Once on the sand, there were plenty of things to see. I was very interested in seeing what the sand hid and then consequently revealed when the tide receded.
Our accommodation in Collingwood was a beach-side bach called Beach End Cottage. A bach (for an Aussie or Brit, it’s pronounced like birch, but shorter) in Kiwi-speak is short for bachelor pad, but now is thought of as a holiday home.
In distant times, baches might be thought of as a simple beach-shack (aka SeaChange), and Beach End Cottage is a good example of one of these. On the end of a beach, away from town, set into the bush, an arms-throw from the water’s edge and with a neverending view of the bay. Nowadays baches can also be water-front resort holiday ‘houses’ (or is that just for the city slickers?).
Anyway, I’m glad that the bach was still there for us to experience. There are worse ways to experience Collingwood and Golden Bay, I’m sure.
The reward for traversing Takaka Hill is being able to visit beautiful Golden Bay. This wasn’t my first visit to the area, but previous visit was 14 years before, so I was curious as to whether the area had changed much. That is, become a Byron Bay kind of place, or had it retained its feeling of seclusion.
We stayed in the town the furthest way along the bay. It’s called Collingwood, and has no links to the Melbourne suburb of the same name other than being named after the same guy. Actually, I’m stretching the truth when I call Collingwood a town – it’s really a village.
That’s most of downtown Collingwood! It did start out quite big – a centre for its own gold rush in the late 19th Century, but a series of fires razed the town, and when the gold rush receded, so did much of its population. But its location as the sunniest spot in New Zealand and close to a slew of national parks makes it an adventure playground to those willing to brave the drive out.