Thursday, January 9, 2014
It was my last full day with my oh, so luxurious rental car. I drove to Totaranui Beach, the northernmost beach in the Abel Tasman National park and spend the afternoon strolling up and down the vibrantly tan colored coastline. I was surprised to find blue and black starfishes washed to shore among other exotic sea shells. On my way back to Eden’s Edge for the night, I decided to detour off the main road and explore the Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve, one of the many filming locations for Lord of the Rings. I specifically made the effort to drive down the narrow unsealed 11k road to take a few pictures and send them to my friend Slightly from back home. He told me if I didn’t visit anything Lord of the Rings while I was in New Zealand that we would no longer be friends when I got home. Friend, I went to great lengthy to salvage our relationship. You’re welcome.
Harwood’s Hole is the main feature in this area, so I ventured down the 90 minute return trail to see what the big fuss was about. It wasn’t so much a planned walking trail, but rather an open beech forest followed by a jumbled up pile of rocks; large slippery rocks lodged in between lots and lots of mud. And I didn’t so much walk, but more like clambered over these miniature boulders to reach New Zealand’s deepest hole. It had been raining off and on all day, so it made the moss come to life and added a certain kind of eeriness to the whole setting. The birds even sounded slightly paranormal as they didn’t sing like cheery doorbells, but rather resembled something like that of a bat. What I saw of Harwood’s Hole was quite impressive, but it’s pretty hard to get a good, close look without literally killing yourself. There are no barriers in the entire section, so exploring is at your own risk. And since I am here to tell the story, I did not get a good look. This is the best picture I could get, and like the vast majority of my pictures, it doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Maybe this is one of the sites that is best Googled.