Back to the South Island..... finally travel blog

we set off from Kaiteriteri on a warm day with out guide...

-and boarded one of Wilson's boats with their probocus ramp -

-and passed seals frolicking on rocks till-

- we set off on our 50km hike

we crossed a number of pristine beaches

and got to our first stop by barge while others had to...

low tide at Awaroa

Our first accom is Meadowbank at Awaroa - it has an interesting...

some of our group went on by kayak

but we kept coming across secluded beaches

There were waterfalls and swinging bridges

and tree ferns casting shadows

and beautiful rivers till we got to

our next luxury accomm at Torrent Bay

walking across the estuary at low tide we came across oyster catchers

Adele Island is named after the wife of one of the early...

A weka - one of the flightless birds of New Zealand

Morning light at Torrent Bay

This filament with a sweet drop on its end is the anal...

This national park is up in the north east corner of the South Island and includes a chunk of coastline. It is serviced from Motueka where we spent the night having travelled up from Hanmer Springs. Wilson's travel company run 3 and 5 day treks ( +/- kayaking) using their 2 private lodges as bases. They are guided walks and the small luggage bags we were allowed were transported from place to place for us. Boats travel from the smaller town of Kaiteriteri up and down the coast and stop at various beaches along the way. They are catamarans that can approach the beach where they lower a ramp. So some people can just make a day trip into a beach and stay there, or they can walk to the next beach and boat home from there. We travelled for about 1.5 hours up to Totaranui and were dropped off and then walked for a few hours to our accommodation at Awaroa. The last leg involved a barge trip across the estuary. There were also a group of German boys waiting to get across and apparently they waited until 7.30pm and tried to wade across but gave up at chest high. They turned around in defeat!

The lodge was lovely with a very comfy bed and a great feed. Same again the next day, after packing up our lunches and organizing our back packs we were off for an 18km day. That was a long one for us! The legs were feeling pretty weary by the end. The scenery is to die for, beautiful bays, turquoise water and sandy beaches. The walking was mostly on tracks through the rain forest and we loved all the ferns and different foliage and a few birds here and there. The coast line is regularly indented with estuaries with massive tidal changes so sometimes we waded through shallow water and sometimes walked across the sandy/muddy empty spaces. Very beautiful all in all. The second lodge at Torrent Bay was equally comfortable although our room was the smallest as we were the last to book, only 6 months ago! Still on that particular night we only needed the bed where we slept for 11 hours! Contrary to our expectations we were the only Australians on the trip. There were a few NZs, some Americans and some Swiss. Made for interesting conversations. The last day was a 15km walk out and although we half expected we might bail out due to sore legs (there was the option of hopping on to a boat halfway) it was pretty easy walking and we had no problem. We finished at Marahau, hopped on a bus and were reunited with our car. We then had a 2.5 hour drive to Picton where Marty and Catherine were waiting for us.

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