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Milnthorpe – Golden Bay

Drive to the beach at Milnthorpe, cross the stone bridge, and wander down the beach to Collingwood or through Milnthorpe Park. Planned on a drawing board in England, the town was to have 144 houses, but after a long and painful battle with local council and developers my Dad, Trevor Riley, managed to reduce the number of houses to 20 or so.

Milnthorpe Park is a 144 hectare forest planted and freed by the amazing Dick Nicholls and his slasher. Pockets of native bush survived huge fires in the 1970’s, and gorse nurseries are fast regenerating. A network of tracks named after locals and sponsors takes you through dense manuka thickets and pakihi. Tall eucalypt and mamuka shade groves of five finger and rimu.

It takes skill to slice a thick hakea trunk in a single blow, to carefully thin a thicket, to plan the future of a grove. Wisdom to see ahead, patience and perseverance for plants to grow, and great knowledge of botany. Dick has known me since I was born, is one of my Gurus, and a Golden Bay icon.

As a kid I spend hours playing in the estuary, squelching in mud and duelling crabs, or sinking the dinghy. There are some special secret spots, and a good feed of oysters can be had. I hope the population pressure stays low, so the estuary remains untouched. 10 minutes to the beach, and 10 minutes to the Parapara River for a freshwater swim. A new network of MTB tracks around the Parapara forest is fun.

Home sweet home!



Comment from Jonathan Riley
Time: April 1, 2013, 8:53 pm

Hey man,
How are you?
Accidentally came across this 🙂

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