Abel Tasman Park
Motueka Travel Blog› entry 12 of 25 › view all entries
February 4th, 2008 – by: jemanderica
Instead, we went further towards Abel Tasman Park - the town of Motueka.
Abel Tasman Park was named after the first "Pakeha" (the Maori term for white man) to "find" New Zealand. Tasman and his crew didn't actually even set foot on the place. A Maori village saw the boat in the mist with it's lights and sent-out a canoe - which are pretty huge as we saw in Waitangi.
The tale has a "happy ending" though and the Pakeha got the last laugh - by introducing guns and and bribing the Northern Maori with other European comforts, they slaughtered the Southern Island Maori and introduced "civilisation" to the area(!). This was the first real insight into the bloody history that was brought to the Maori when the Europeans settled here.
Murderers Bay later became known as "Golden Bay", which is far more tourist friendly!
History lesson over! We went sea kayaking, although unfortunately the sea was too rough to go over to Tonga Island to see the seals.
The next day, we took another water taxi to the place that we reached on the track the day before and walked the rest of the track back to Mohuena, the gateway to the southern part of the track. We visited the beautiful "Split Apple Rock" (look at the picture, it needs no futher explanation) and then made it up to Ancorage, a lovely sheltered beach with beautiful golden sand and crystal clear water. It was perfect for swimming in.
We walked the track in merciful shade (because the sun was beating down) and saw some of the most wonderful beaches with hardly anyone on them. It could just as easily have been the Caribbean.
After a couple of days in the Park, we made our way a little bit further north and up to the wackiest place we have visited so far - Takaka.
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