Two Days to See the North… the adventure continues in the Abel Tasman National Park

Well… where do I start,

We headed out early because we knew we had to be leaving Nelson to get back to Christchurch at a reasonable hour… leaving the cozy confines of the Shortbread Cottage and setting out in the frosty morning air.

We dropped an American lady (who was staying in our hostel) to her bus and then geared up for the hour long drive to Marahau, where we would begin our hike.

It was bloody freezing. However, we wanted to squeeze as much of the hike in as possible so, after watching the sun rise over the water at Kaiteriteri we set off… instantly regretting not wearing a beanie.

Sunrise and Moonset at Kaiteriteri
Sunrise and Moonset at Kaiteriteri

It doesn’t take long to warm up and when you are walking at pace you may even find you need to shed a few layers… that did not seem to happen for me though. I really want to describe this walk to you… but I feel like I won’t do it justice…

Breathtaking, is probably the best thing I can think of… both literally and figuratively. Crystal clear water on sandy beaches and lush rainforest, all set with a background of snow capped mountains… It is pretty hard to beat.

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Being winter time, the track was essentially deserted for the morning and though some might think us crazy we even ventured into the water for a swim at Apple Tree Bay… as cold as it was, it was definitely worth it. Along the track there are countless viewing points and poor old Keates had to put up with me exclaiming how amazing everything was, at every corner we turned.

“You are going to have to think of other words to use”, he said… due to my lacking vocabulary, other words were not used, and AMAZING was the buzz word of the day.

We decided to pound it to Watering Cove, signposts told us it would take 7.5 hours return… we managed it in 5, and that was including swimming, rock climbing and excessive photography… so I guess you can do it in less.

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Proof that I went swimming
Proof that I went swimming

What do I regret?

Well, I am glad you asked… although we managed to see a huge portion of the trek, it was 23km all up… the entire thing is 60km and it is suggested to be done over the span of 5 days. There are countless campsites and huts along the way and I think that doing the entire thing would be well worth the effort.

Best advice?

1. Take a beanie! or some form of head warmer, one that you can stuff in your pocket or a backpack as it warms up… gloves are good too.

2. A good base layer is the best thing to go with, then an outer shell (waterproof).

3. A backpack with water and food (if you are a bottomless pit like myself)

4. The trails are extremely well maintained but comfortable shoes are essential, especially if you are walking for a while.

And now I have given you some AMAZING advice, check out this website I have linked because the NZ department of conservation has prime advice.

Stay tuned for the adventures of our drive back to Christchurch… it involved a German, a terrible steak sandwich, a pie and 600ml of milk.

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