View of the Abel Tasman monument.

By Helen

After a late night celebrating Bergfest/Guy Fawkes/birthday (Bergfest is the celebration of the halfway point of the trip), we had a more sedate set off time to explore the Golden Bay area. First stop was the Pariwhakaoho River where we walked up the river bed looking for porphyry and skarn mineralisation. These mineral deposits form when magma moves towards the Earth’s surface and releases fluids that carry metals and sulfur. Unfortunately a waterfall got in our way, however there was plenty of evidence of porphyry and skarn minerals in the rocks in the stream.

Searching for skarns.

Following a brief but important stop at the refuse and recycling station, we headed around the coast in search of the best beach in New Zealand. “It was so good it made a muddy swamp look like Bondi” said Mike…. Or was that the other way round? Nevermind, our frowns were inverted by NZ’s actual best beaches on day 8.

“Best beach in New Zealand” – Piers

Our desperation for a swim sent some of us out into the shallows for a cold dip anyway while looking at sedimentary rocks onshore. Then we headed back to the hut for curry……mmmmm, cheers to the chefs.

Eroding beach at Rangihaeata Head.