Abel Tasman National Park

New Zealand, RTW: 2007-2008 — By on March 17, 2008 2:50 AM

Nicole and I spent the weekend at Abel Tasman National Park, located on the Northwest coast of the South Island. I met Nicole a few months ago when she came to visit Lauren in Sydney. Lauren and Nicole went to high school together in Tampa, Florida. Nicole has been living and working in Christchurch, New Zealand for the past 4 months. She is a scientist who is studying microbes in food.

After traveling alone for the past 2 weeks, I really enjoyed Nicole’s company and I got the chance to get to know her better. We have talked about doing some traveling through Southeast Asia together in a few months.

Check out Nicole’s Blog: Range Commander

I had taken the ferry over to the South Island from Wellington and Nicole picked me up in Picton. We stayed in Nelson Friday night and headed to the park early Saturday morning. It was so nice to be in a car and not on a bus for once! Abel Tasman is absolutely beautiful with its many beaches, coves and bays, caves, islands, and very green hills one can tramp through.

We spent our first day kayaking along the coast of the park. I quickly realized that although my legs are in great shape from resent hikes, my arms are not! I was glad that Nicole and I shared a double kayak as it would have been hard for me to paddle on my own. We both got tired and at times I wished Nicole was a big strong boy!

The sand flies were really bad and I was eaten alive while Nicole was attacked by bees! I was convinced a sand fly was trapped inside the kayak and was biting me but Nicole thought I was crazy. My lower body was completely strapped in and was covered by the skirt making it impossible for me to scratch my legs…such a terrible feeling! Despite the sand flies, bees, and tired arms we both really enjoyed the kayak tour!

We had dinner at Kaiteriteri Beach and went to bed early, as we were both very tired from paddling!

The second day we took a water-taxi to Ancorage Bay and hiked through the park, along the coastal track back to our camp. The views were amazing and we both enjoyed taking photos along the way. The hike back to Marahou Beach took us 4 hours but was a very easy walk compared to the others I have done in New Zealand. Many people come to Abel Tasman to hike the 4-day coastal track but we didn’t have time. We had to head back on Sunday afternoon as it took 6 hour drive back to Christchurch and Nicole had to work and I have a plane to catch to Tasmania.

To see all my photos from Abel Tasman National Park CLICK HERE!

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1 Comment

  1. Mary says:

    Glad to hear you liked the kayaking, even though you were attacked by bugs! Mike and I are planning to kayak in San Diego in a few weeks, and your blog makes me excited about trying it. I miss you so much, and am happy to see that you met up with Lauren’s friend for a bit!

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