Kayak & Great Walk in Abel Tasman – Day 96
Kayaking and hiking in a day tour of the Abel Tasman National Park
Today we are not only kayaking but doing part of the Abel Tasman Great Walk in Abel Tasman National Park!
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Today we are going back into the Abel Tasman National Park because we can’t get enough of that sandy place. We are going kayaking.
This morning we are starting our adventure in Kaiteriteri. We are joining the team from Wilsons Abel Tasman and we’re doing a mix of activities. Today we are kayaking and then we are hiking in this beautiful national park. The trip starts with the short boat ride which takes us to the first bay we’re going to be starting to kayak. We take a couple of pit stops at Split Apple Rock as well as the seal colony, which is obviously somewhere you want to go and take pictures. It really feels like a true great adventure begins when we have to unboard the boat and it’s basically all in the water. It’s not a very fancy pier where we are unboarding but it’s literally just a golden sand beach. Then we meet our guide which is going to take care of us today and take us all around the national park.
He starts by giving us a few tips on how to maneuver our double kayaks. We are getting a super in-depth tutorial on how to maneuver our double kayaks from our awesome guide who is from the Netherlands and I really wish I could pronounce his name but I don’t want to butcher it here.
today Laura and I have decided to be on separate double kayaks just because that’s going to be easier for us to take pictures of each other going through this paradise looking land.
We are joined by an awesome group today from all over the world. We have Lara from Argentina and Ashley from new Zealand in a kayak together. Robin is teaming up with Sam from Australia and I’m with the guide who again don’t know his name but he’s from the Netherlands.
One of the great things about kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park is that it is incredibly easy. the water is placid there is not a wave in the horizon and it’s just beautiful. The weather is perfect and we’re just basically waiting for wildlife now.
Abel Tasman National Park receives 2400 sunshine hours per year making it one of the sunniest places to visit in New Zealand. And we are definitely seeing that today. We are kayaking up to all these little islands and inlets and some of these rocky islands are even shaped pretty bizarrely our guide is pointing out that there is Tintin over there, there’s Queen Victoria over here, there is a shape of a Smurf over there and more things to look at like that.
Aside form islands, what I am looking at the most is the water. It is incredible to see the sea so transparent at any point in time we can see the bottom and I am spotting a lot of fish, starfishes, and sadly I do not see any dolphins or orca but I’ve heard that’s it’s pretty often that they are visiting the area. Our guide is telling us a lot about the Abel Tasman National Park and namely why it is called the Abel Tasman National Park. It is named after the dutch explorer Abel Tasman that was one of the first explorers to come to New Zealand and map it’s coast. However, he never set foot on New Zealand because when arriving he and his crew encountered the Maori that frightened him and sent him back home.
Soon we arrive at our lunch stop for today which is the beautiful and secluded Medlands Beach. We arrive there and there’s not a single sole here. We have the beach all to ourselves. We land on the beach and our guide is preparing some refreshments to go along with our packed lunch for today. We’re getting some coffee, some teas also spraying on some sandfly repellent because you really need that in the Abel Tasman National Park.
the great thing about this tour is it gives us a lot of options. We can decide to either hop back in a kayak and make our way toward Torrent Bay by sea again. Or we can choose to walk a section of the Abel Tasman Coastal Walkway which is one of the Great Walk of New Zealand and join the team where the water taxi is supposed to pick us up. And that’s what we choose to do today.
That’s right Abel Tasman is one of the Great Walks in New Zealand and we feel super lucky to be able to do a portion of that walk today. With doing 365 activities in 365 days, we really didn’t think that a Great Walk would be on the agenda but with tours like this where we can do a portion of a Great walk in half a day this gives us the opportunity to see why these walks are so popular.
The Abel Tasman Coastal Track spans over 60km and takes usually 3 to 5 days for hikers to complete. Along the way we spot a couple of dead pine trees which are the result of work of the Department of Conservation in trying to preserve the golden beaches and lush coastal native bush of the Abel Tasman Coast Track.
The track is a well marked and signposted track. We know exactly where we need to head next and we sort of got a bit of a pace on just so we have enough time to relax on the beach when we get back and to catch our water taxi.
Along the way the trees open up to these amazing viewpoints looking out to deserted beaches and forest and mountains as well it’s absolutely stunning.
In total our section of walk took us about two hours and we really feel that we saw a lot. Finally we arrive in one of the most stunning beach I have ever seen in my life. It’s golden sand beach, crystal clear waters and just amazing views of the inlets and islands.
Back on Torrent Bay we catch up with the rest of our group before hopping back onto the water taxi getting our feet wet again. Before heading back towards Kaiteriteri where our tour ends.
The ride back to Kaiteriteri is quite a speedy one our driver is really enjoying going super fast while we are at the back catching up with the group and telling them what the hike was like while they tell us how the kayak was.
Kayaking kayakingdoes it have anything to do with the yak the animal? like are we just going to have to ride a hairy bull? Anyway.