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Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

June 22, 2009

Day 65

We woke up early in Wellington and boarded the ferry to cross over to the South Island. The weather was bad, but the ferry ride was pretty smooth. When we arrived on the South Island, our tour company picked us up and we drove pretty much straight through to Nelson, which is our jumping  off point for the Abel Tasman National Park. We spent most of the night packing and getting ready to leave.  Since we were going to spend the next two days walking through the park and camping, we had to leave a bunch of our stuff at the hostel.

Day 66

We took a bus to the park entrance, which was about an hour away from Nelson.  It was pretty cold in the morning, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so we really couldn’t have asked for better weather.

We had a 4+ hour walk to our campsite at Anchorage Bay. Along the way, we really got to see some of the most beautiful scenery we’d seen yet:

The temperature started to warm-up as the day went on, which was definitely welcome. Luckily, we took the advice of everyone we talked to and dressed in layers. Here are a few more pictures:

In the previous post, I talked a little bit about the possums in New Zealand and how they are considered pests. These traps were all over the track to catch them.

In the previous post, I talked a little bit about the possums in New Zealand and how they are considered pests. These traps were all over the track to catch them.

We arrived at our campsite at Anchorage Bay around 3PM. At first, we weren’t sure how we were going to spend all of our down time. However, once the sun went down, there was really nothing left to do accept go to bed (it was really cold). We were staying the night in one of the cabins that they have in the park, which was really nothing more than two platforms where six people could sleep across with their sleeping bags.

Well, lets just say rules are made to be broken.

Well, let's just say rules are made to be broken.

Day 66

Who needs coffee? Just take a stroll through this on a winters morn.

Who needs coffee? Just take a stroll through this on a winter's morn.

We woke up from our campsite around 7AM. To continue our  hike. Today, we were going to do about 5 hours to Onetahuti Bay, where our water taxi was going to pick us up and take us back to Nelson.  Because the Abel Tasman Coastal Track runs along the *duh* coast, for certain parts of it there is actually a high tide and a low tide track. However, the high tide track is significantly longer. Since we weren’t sure if we would have enought time, this meant that we had to make sure we were at the low tide crossing at the right time (plus or minus two hours of low tide). That meant we got to take a very refreshing (i.e. cucking fold) walk through a few estuarial streams left by the tide that morning.

After drying our feet and getting our shoes back on, we were off again to some more really spectacular scenery. I’ll try to let the pictures speak for themselves:

We got two treats aboard the boat back to Nelson. First was a seal colony that lives on one of the islands along the coast. Second was a dolphin that swam up next to our boat and followed us for a little while:

We arrived back in Nelson that night tired, but definitely satisfied with our trip into the park. This was definitely the highlight of NZ so far for me, and probably shortlisted for Top 5 experiences on the whole trip around the world.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 9, 2009 2:36 pm

    I’m so glad to read that NZ and the park were so spectacular. I’ve heard it’s a bit like Iceland of the Southern Hemisphere, so I definitely can’t wait to go.

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