The South Island of New Zealand -winter 2015/16 travel blog

So many ways to Kayak in the park

Numerous water taxi options that are well worth it

a coastal walk that goes high up and right on the beach...

Great signage all along the way - you won't get lost

You'll enjoy it -we sure did


If you have room on your 'bucket list' add the Abel Tasman National Park located in the top of the South Island hugging the Tasman Bay/Tasman Sea. One of New Zealand's Seven Great Walks is located in the park and numerous day walks are well defined. There are numerous options for kayaking and I think that might be a great way to do it after having done four hours of hiking up high ridges then going down to sea level then back up again! We took a water taxi that seats 12 people. It got us up close to fur seal colonies, coastal views, and a sneak preview of the numerous bays with their sand beaches. The various trail options are very clearly posted and you would have to work hard to get lost. Fresh water is available to refill your water bottles at about 4 different locations as well as toilets there as well. Three of the areas with the huts for sleeping (dorm style) also have wifi hotspots! The trails were crowded with people and the locals say don't come after the first week in December until after the first week in February. Then be ready for a spike in tourist in March. The trail is a one lane cliff hugger at times, and forest path at others and often leads down to a bay for a break. What goes down must come up so after that break you have a hearty walk UP. We walked the four hour track and my knees and legs were very ready to be finished because we walked a fast past. We had to catch our water taxi back at a specific time (you need to plan ahead with tickets) so we didn't dawdle. Ended up getting to the place we needed to be two hours ahead of schedule so we could have slowed down...that's the problem with the unknown :)

It was a gorgeous setting and we absolutely would do it again. If you want to learn more about the park try www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/abel-tasman.

Steps yesterday 12,197. Steps today - 23, 366. Drive to park - 50k. (An hour on the slow switchback mountain roads).



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