Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Abel Tasman National Park

The following morning we were up with the lark, to catch a bus at 7:30 from a stop about 10 minutes away from our hotel. We were heading out for a day in the Abel Tasman National Park, which is found around the top of the South Island, across the Tasman Bay from Nelson. We were driven for around an hour to get to Kaiteriteri, where we boarded a boat. The boat took us to Bark Bay, making a few stops on the way as our captain took us to Split Apple Rock and some other bays on the way.

We waded ashore at Bark Bay, then, after a quick rest to dry and reshoe ourselves, we set off onto the Abel Tasman walkway, which runs along the coast of the park. We thought that we’d have a nice, tranquil stroll through the park, away from the hustle and bustle of the city…wrong! It was the day of the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic, a 36k run which started at 9:30 that morning from Totaranui. Every minute or so we were passed by a runners either singly or in groups.

The local wildlife wasn't what we expected

At one point we were able to fork off from the main track and go out to a spur, where it was a bit quieter. A fantail decided to join us and hung around long enough to be photographed.

Eventually the last of the runners passed us, and we had a more peaceful time of it from then on. We crossed the swing bridge, followed by quite a steep ascent; and passed a sign to Sandfly Bay, which we decided not to visit…because it’s probably full of sandflies, and they give you a bite that itches like hell. We finally made it back to Torrent Bay. Whilst this is where we were eventually supposed to be picked up, we were in fact only halfway there, as there was still the small matter of following the track around to The Anchorage, which took us quite a way inland before we were able to cross the river which runs into the bay. We decided to stop for lunch at this point, and found a picnic table in amongst the campsite. Then we cracked on, taking a short detour to Cleopatra’s Pool, which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment as it was inaccessible due to the heavy rains of the previous weeks, which made the crossing to the pool impassable.

We got round to our final pick-up point with time to spare, and idled about in the sun, watched by a pair of red-billed gulls and a pair of oystercatchers.

We then did our journey in reverse, getting back to our hotel in plenty of time to get ready to go out to The Boatshed; having acquired a righteous hunger from the day’s walking, we dined on whitebait and crayfish, and mushroom bruschetta and roast duck, all washed down with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.


  1. Sounds very heaven and a fitting b/day treat for Nicola. Bravo youse guys.

    Here it is sometimes rainy. Sometimes sunny. Often windy. And the jets roar overhead. Apart from that - very peaceful.

    Skype again soon.

    H x

  2. Am loving Split Apple Rock! xx