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Milnthorpe – Golden Bay

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Comments

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

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

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