Collingwood and The Somerset House
Collingwood is what I kind of imagine the American Old West felt like. If the Old West sold fish and chips or grew palm trees. It has a very distinct “Frontier” vibe and what can only be describe as the world’s smallest museum. The surrounding land in largely uninhabited, unless you count sheep. It’s one of the few towns located in the Golden Bay (Mohua) region of New Zealand.
In Collingwood, we stayed at the sweetest little backpacker hostel called The Somerset House. The couple that runs this hostel bakes fresh bread every morning and has home grown, free range eggs (available for a small charge). Hostels can get a bad rep for being cheap and uncomfortable, but Somerset House felt like a home because it’s run by a local family. There are only a few simple rules in the house: take your shoes off at the door and keep the place tidy. Pretty easy rules to live by. Situated on a small incline about the town, Somerset House also has some of the best views of the Golden Bay area.
Farewell Spit and Golden Bay
Farewell Spit, known as Tuhuroa to the Māori, is the northern most point of the South Island of New Zealand. The small bit of land protects the Golden Bay from the harsh weather to the West. It’s a fantastic place to visit if you’re into birds. If you’re not into birds, it’s a pretty beach and a nice walk through the country side. It’s also know for being a trap for stranded whales, but luckily, on our visit, it was whale free.
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