Abel Tasman Eco Tour – Day 92
Promised Land Tour with Abel Tasman Eco Tours
Today we explore a relatively unknown section of the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.
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Today we are going into the Abel Tasman National Park for the very first time on this trip.
We are driving up Takaka Hill today to the meeting point of the Abel Tasman Eco Tours. The weather looks like it is going to be a little bit rainy today so any moment now I think it’s going to be torrential rain. As the good people that we are, We arrive well early and this gives us a little bit of time to play with the local wildlife. Or maybe not so wild. They came really close to us. And they were starting at us more than we stared at them.
And then we hop on the van with Abel Tasman Eco Tours and this takes us through a thick dense forest nearby which surprisingly ends up opening in massive farmland. The drive takes us through Canaan Downs which in fact was a Lord of the Rings filming location. It’s also a place where a famous festival takes place every year and this place looks like it could be a pretty cool place to have a festival. But that’s not what we’re here for, we are here for hiking.
the first section of the walk is through farmland but this gives us a great opportunity to see how broken the land is. In New Zealand, there’s lots of earthquakes, most of them unnoticeable to humans, so don’t be afraid of coming to travel here, but there is a lot of them and this shapes the land. And it’s really really striking right here to see the land completely broken in many parts by the continuous movement of the earth.
So right now, Fay and Stu are looking for some carnivorous snails that are only found in New Zealand.
Another point of interest as we walk through the farmlands is botanical. Fay is showing us a lot of different plants that were used by the early Maoris both as medicinal purposes as well as food sources. It’s fascinating to see how much they were using the land for their survival.
We also learn about the conservation of the area and Stu shows us what a possum trap looks like because yes in New Zealand possums are considered a pest.
As we make our way into the Abel Tasman National Park, the vegetation gets denser and denser and this because this is the more ancient part of the forest. This is the part of the Abel Tasman National Park that not many people get to explore. When you think of this national park, you think of the beaches but actually there are some really awesome forested areas.
Stu our other guide has some awesome tricks to attract wildlife and soon enough we get to see up-close a little robin. This South Island robin is so cute and he hangs out with us for so long. that was really cool.
We then head back on the track which I have to say is pretty rough. It’s not often that we get to hike on a track which is almost fully submerged of water, rocks and roots. Fay is also taking the time to show us more plants that were used by early Maori those really long sticky plants were used as spears or ropes. They really made the most of everything.
this track is really rugged and at some points there isn’t even a track so it’s a good job that we actually have some guides here to show us the way. So we look at some more plants, some fungus growing on the trees and we even get the opportunity to taste some plants.
I’m getting all the juice out. Urgh. It’s not as bad as aloe vera. Mm tasty stuff.
So it looks like Laura isn’t really a big fan of the horopito. back on our way, I am still keeping an eye out to find the carnivorous snail. I’m really looking forward to see that beast. I did not know that snails could eat anything else other than plants and I really want to see one.
So here, Look at that, we’ve found a carnivorous snail it’s called a powelliphanta, it’s a native snail in New Zealand here as far as I know just the only carnivorous snail in the world.
It looks like this snail has been eaten up b a native bird called a weka but these snails are known for eating a few things too. In fact, they can suck up worms like spaghetti. Right as we find our massive carnivorous snail, the rain hits us real hard so we find shelter in the local hut and we grab a bit of lunch. the rain is, in fact, so hard that the local wildlife is even joining the party. A weka bird is trying to hide from the rain in the shelter as well as trying to scavenge a few food from us however, we are well-behaved tourists and we know that feeding the wildlife is not advised. So he’s leaving us empty handed.
The way back to the van is us literally running through the rain it was torrential. Unfortunately because it was raining so hard, we didn’t actually get to film much on the way back but we do head back to the Bare Foot Backpackers in Takaka where we really need to dry out our clothes any way possible. Tonight is pot luck dinner night at the Bare Foot Backpackers where everyone cooks something and we all share the food together it’s a really awesome way to socialise with your fellow hostel mates and our lovely hosts as well. And the truth is, that I’m always in for some awesome food.
We are now making our way all the way up the Taka all th e way up the Takak Hill Takaka all the way up the Tataka Hill. All the way up the Takaka Hill.