Abel Tasman 4 Day tramp

Nelson Travel Blog

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Day one, the threesome

(Pictures Coming as soon as I get a computer compatible :)

So I have travelled from the North Island and am officially in the south. Today I am spending the afternoon in Nelson, getting my clothes clean, catching up on email etc... so an update of my latest adventure seems appropriate.

Myself, and two American guys I picked up seperately along the way (Adam and Brad) decided it would be fun if the three of us did a 4 day, 40+ km hike through the whole of the Abel Tasman national park, so we did :). Day one was off to a great start, after catching a bus from Nelson to Marahau, the last villiage before the park entrance, we caught a water taxi to the northernmost trip.

Pretty Lagoon, one of Many
Basically a really rough and bumpy (read: super fun) boat ride across one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Add "seal whispering" to that and you get the best $36 I have spent in NZ. The driver of the boat pulled into a place called Tonga bay where baby seal pups live, they are protected and very curious about ppl so they swam right up to the boat and let people pet them. One even got onto the boat when he decided he needed a closer look! Depsite frustration of not being able to get decent photos since two very well rounded german behinds were in my way, furiously snapping photos of their own... it was still an unforgettable experience. Anywho, we got dropped off at Seperation Point, the most northern section, and the hilliest! Beautiful veiws abounded, including the view of a giant black storm cloud coming our way.
Dancing the happy dance
So we started really booking it. We reached the tidal crossing (giant area only crossable during low tide) right at the right time, but still had to remove our shoes to get across. This area shall now be renamed as the lake of 1000 knives. Sharp, breaky little clam shells by the thousands for about 500 metres. Not to mention hard granite sand to really get the skin down to the pink. 5 hours of hiking total, and only a little rain made our first hut stop in Awoara Hut pretty fun. Since it gets dark at about 5:30 here, we sat out on the porch singing all the Disney songs we could remember and stared at the beautiful southern hemisphere sky.

Day Two; Left the hut early to beat the large familys (who in retrospect, were probably being water taxied out of the bay) and reached our first tidal crossing at 10:30 am.

Me and brad, drying off on day one
.... about 6 hours to early. Not really sure how we missed that one. Luckily, this was a very short tidal crossing, so I was ready to plunge in, but the guys were hesitant. However, when it started pouring down rain about 30 minutes after arriving at said tidal crossing, they were much more open to the concept of getting their legs wet. At highest, the water was bum level (on me... so not that high). As Adam put it "my boxers are wet, but my balls are dry.... and thats all that really matters". It was really funny watching their faces as they crossed pantless over the little stream. The next 3 hours it rained. Just rained. Lots and lots of rain. It was a new experience of wetness. Thank god this country is warm. When we reached the hut, we quickly huddled around the gas stove.
Indiana Jones has nothing on my hat!
.. which was producing little to no heat. Still, in the 17 hours that elapsed while we stayed there all of our clothes got mostly dry, and we were really to head out from Bark Bay.

Day Three: Most Beautiful day ever. Sun sun sun. And the most beautiful part of the whole tract. Including a really long indiana jones style swing bridge where Adam lost his lens cap. Both Brad and Adam provided theme music for our crossing and we took many, many silly photos. We took our time travelling this day, dropping our packs to travel down little side trails to see beach after beautiful golden sandy beach. Brad decided to trek it all the way to Marahau that night as opposed to staying in the anchorage hut(as he has limited time in NZ), so we wished him well and Adam and I continued on to the Anchorage hut. After dropping our packs we hiked up to cleopatras pool, this really spectacular granite pool with multiple little falls going into it, all surrounded by rainforest. Not to be missed. Something I could have done with out was the Japanes group that also stayed at the hut that night. They had a problem with doors. Both with leaving them open while we were trying to heat up the hut and with opening them while we were trying to sleep. One girl didnt have the strength to push open the bunk room door and kept flashing a light at the sleepers to get them to open it for her. Cold room vs warm sleeping bag = she got no help from us. Adam, the king of one liners said "Is is because their used to paper sliding doors that this is hard for them?". Later that night, we got to figure out who had some kind of serious sleep apnea or polyps in the nose. As an airplane took off beside us... we realized a human being was actually snoring so loud that the bunk was shaking. What was really fasinating is that his partner was also sleeping through this. There was a mass exodus from the room when I had had enough and grabbed my mat and dragged it into the kitchen. I turned around and a group of 6 other people from the room had done the same. Pretty funny.

Day 4:Pretty PrettyAn uneventful but really nice end to our trip, we enjoyed the flatest part of the track all the way down to marahau, where you walk through a bird sanctuary... I saw a banded dotteral :). Then we grabbed the bus back to nelson and had a big celebration dinner, where we aquired another american boy, having made more then 2 people could possibly eat. This American boy (Ryan) is a student in the outdoor school here in NZ finishing his training as a wilderness guide. So guess who I am tramping the Franz Joseph with? You betcha. At the end of June he and I are planning a road trip around the south island (he drives, yeah!) to get off the beaten path to all the really spectacular places. But for today, I am headed for Kaikoura YHA for the night so I can go on a sea-bird watching tour tomorow and get really close to albatrosses :).

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Day one, the threesome
Day one, the threesome
Pretty Lagoon, one of Many
Pretty Lagoon, one of Many
Dancing the happy dance
Dancing the happy dance
Me and brad, drying off on day one
Me and brad, drying off on day one
Indiana Jones has nothing on my ha…
Indiana Jones has nothing on my h…
Nelson
photo by: wendybodenmann