Abel Tasman NP:

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Country: New Zealand Tour / Mountain: Abel Tasman
Start: Kaiteriteri End: Kaiteriteri
Route:  
Distance:   Time: 6 days
Supply: self sufficient, tent, huts    
Difficulties:

 

Rating: Lovely kajaking and trekking tour along beautiful beaches
 
Abel Tasman: Just 20 km to the north of Motueka lies a national park namedafter the seafarer and discoverer Abel Tasman. The national park directly situated by the sea accommodates one of the nicest trekking routes in New Zealand: Abel Tasman Coastal Trek who leads by primeval forest and about beaches. An alternative to the congested trekking route is a sea kayak tour along the coastal line. We decide to do a 2-day kayak tour into the middle of the national park. Afterwards we went on foot further to c the north of the national park and then back over the Inlandtrek to the starting point. One can rent fully equipped sea kayaks in Kaiteriteri and in Marahau easily and there one receives aslo a half-day training.
 
Mad Mile: We head for an island which lies directly before the coast instead of paddling with all other further along the coast. Adele island is a protected birds area and predominantly is inhabited from Shags. We want to paddle around the island but on the outside fresh winds blow us already in the middle in the face. The sea gets rougher and so we have the first smaller waves. When we will paddle then on the eastern side of the coast to the north from the fresh breeze changes into a stiff breeze. We have to fight against the wind and with waves of more than 1 metre (another boat has chosen this route and if we in a trough of the sea are we cannot see the other canoeist any more) is anything but dull to us. Several times waves go over the boat, but the sea kayak lies very good in the water. Also when we arrived at the north end of the island, again in the direction of mainland paddle now the wind and the waves come from the side and afre no bigger problems.. Then after just 1.5 hours we are exhausted but again on the coast. Now it should nevertheless go into the "Mad Mile". The Mad Mile a just a 2 km long coastal segment and is famous for taut headwind and waves. We put to ourselves again wind and waves, however, in the Mad Mile it is luckily a little bit quiet as with the island. Now, however, becomes apparent that we have already paddled round the island and we must fight quite a bite to paddle against the wind (as a cyclist our upper arms are undetrained a little bit). After another hour in the headwind and nice waves we reach exhausted and contently in the late afternoon the big Anchorage bay. As already on the route Burn Trek one must also camp here in e thovernight stay place (we again booked before). From the desired idyllic night a la Robinson Cruso on a lonesome beach, however, no track. Together with about 100 other canoeists and trekkers, under it is also a school class, we share the camp site. The traffic jam fields we were not announced, by the way, completely so waterproof and thus our tent swam in the water.
 
Where are the spoons? I have asked Nadine as our dinner was ready, about our cuttlery, but even after repeated searching of the whole equipment our spoons and forks remained missing. Necessity is the mother of invention and as the noodles are already ready we take two tent herrings and eat with it like with rod our spaghetti. Well, with spaghetti the trick with the herrings still works, however how should we eat tomorrow morning our muesli? Actually, I move around get a better idea: Mussels. Almost I already surrender, because have broken all mussel or they are just too small when I find two nice bowls of an oyster at the very back end of the beach. Most other park visitors presumably hold us for a little bit cracked aswe are using during the next days our shells to eat our muesli and noodles, but, we are happy that we don´t have to eat with the fingers.  
 
Seals: In our second paddle day first we paddle to visit a sea lion colony on a small rocky island 1 km offshore. At the back of the rock we hit in a sort of seal kindergarten. About 15 young seals, they areonly a few months old, splash here pleasedly in the water, while some older seal doze bored on the rock in the sun. The young seal are shy by no means and dribble round us and under our boat. We were already impressed by the sea lions on the beach of Kangoro Iceland in Australia but here in the water it is something else. The seals are in the water fully in their element and the acrobatic clowns of the seas are show every child, but it is really quite an experience to see them in the wild. A young seal allowed itself a small joke with us, rushes directly to us, jumps out of the water, and las lands half a metre before our kayak with a loud splashing again in the sea. For half an hour we observe the activity, but meanwhile other canoeists have also discovered the playing seals and in the midst of the other boats we do not feel so fine and keep on paddling
 
Split Apple Rock: A gigantically split rock lump in the middle of the sea.
 
Even more seals: The real seal colony lives a few kilometres to the north of the rock on Tonga, and also here we hit we in seal kindergarden. Nevertheless, here the seal children play in a protected lagoon and there one to is not allowed to come closer than 20 m to a sea lion on rock.
 
Nice lagoons: We follow the coastal line and because we can have high water we explore one nice lagoon after the other. In many lagoons there are also small idyllic camping sites, however, to get hold of them one must book them already for a while in advance. Finally, after a total of two wonderful and exciting paddle days we exchange on the beach in the Onetahuti bay our sea kayak again for our treeking boots.
 
Coastal Trek: While the first half of the Coastal Treks is surely overrun, then it is a little bit quieter in the north. As with all Great Walks the footpath is also developed here extremely well and anything but demanding, however, along the walking of beaches along the coast has its charm. The walking in the deep sand with a heavy backpack on the back is extremely strenuous and after every beach segment we must empty about a kilo sand from our shoes (no idea how this must have been for the Foreign Legionnaires in the Sahara). Nadines initial scepticism compared with an overcrowded Great Walk has vanished completely.
 
Lovely bays:
 
Tidal Crossing: Two places on the Coastal Trek can be crossed only with low tide and one stands still in the middle of the water. In particular the crossing in the Awora bay with his gigantic sandy beches at low tide is wonderful. We meet a few locals who have collected just oysters and learned from them a small abbreviation, instead of by the wood, directly along the beach leads to our next camping site. Just still on time before the flood we reach our small comfortable overnight campsite.
 
Hiker's dream: Who has dreamt after a hard long travelling tour not already from to a jump in chill Wet! Here on Abel Tasman Coastal Trek it is the well-earned pleassure which expects us every evening.
 
Inlandtrek: From the north point of the national park the 3-day inland Trek leads back to Marahau. Differently than the coastal way nearly no travellers are to be found here, completely in contrast to the Fantails. Fantails are small little birds with a fan-like tail. Almost permanently we have one of the trusting journeymen around ourselves and some also follow us flying from branch to branch. Their curiosity is bigger than her fear and thus they are often less than 1 metre from us. The inland Trek is real nothing else as a connecting way, and in particular the second day we spend exclusively in the bush. The huts lie here on more than 700 m over the sea and here as it is just autumn it gets in the evening it already cold, so that Martin must make fire wood to heat the oven. Merely in the third and last day we are recompensed with some nice views of the coastal line. After 6 days we are again back at our starting point and go as hitchhikers back to our apple plantation.
 

 

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