Our two month tour of NZ’s South Island culminated with a four-day hike through one the country’s most picturesque national parks: Abel Tasman. Although Abel Tasman is the smallest of NZ’s national parks it is the most visited. Situated on the northern coast of the South Island, the park’s weather and scenery make it perfect for hiking and/or kayaking, and therefore, we had to do it!
Our four-day adventure, scheduled just after the Easter holidays and the unexpected Cyclone Ita, was stunning! We opted to hike north from Marahau to Totaranui, where we then caught a water-taxi, which, in 45-minutes, whisked us past the entire coast that had taken us four days to traverse! We each carried 40-lbs. hiking bags stuffed with lightweight clothes, sleeping bags, pillows, sleeping pads, a lightweight tent, and cooking gear including a 3 liter bag of wine (because why not?!).
During the four-day traverse it rained one night and one morning, we did two low-tide estuary crossings, we took a “cold bath” in Sandfly Bay and a cold outdoor shower at the Awaroa Hut, we cooked dinner on a campfire with a Kiwi family and a German girl, we saw one rainbow, we gazed at the stars, we watched the sun sink below the horizon from our hammock, we hiked 11 hours and covered 40 kilometers (25 miles), we ate two cans of soup, four packages of Ramen Noodles, and four sticks of beef jerky, we had aching feet, bruised collarbones, and sore hips, we collected seashells, we shared the track and smiles with hundreds of people from hundreds of backgrounds, and we WOLOed!
Trip Stats for anyone thinking of taking on the Abel Tasman:
Day 1: Marahau to Te Pukatea Bay Camp
14.4 kms (9 mi), 3 hrs 20 mins
Day 2: Te Pukatea Bay Camp to Bark Bay Camp
8.4 kms (5.2 mi), 2 hrs 45 mins
Day 3: Bark Bay Camp to Awaroa Camp
11.4 km (7.1 mi), 3 hrs 5 mins
Day 4: Awaroa Camp to Totaranui Camp
6 kms (3.7 mi), 1 hr 45 mins
Next stop: The French Pass & The Marlborough Sounds
Song lyrics: Zac Brown Band “Knee Deep”
– Go. Change your state of mind.