05.13.2009 60 °F
Hello. We left Marlborough on Sunday, May 10th, and drove to Nelson for lunch and groceries before heading to Abel Tasman National Park. Abel Tasman is the smallest of NZ’s great parks but very popular because of its scenic coastal walk that takes three to five days to complete. There are huts for trampers, but we did the more civilized day hikes because we’re not tramps. Our hotel, the Ocean View Chalets, was located in Marahau, a small town at the foot of Abel Tasman. The hotel did, in fact, have a view of Tasman and was only a short walk to the park entrance.
On Monday, May 11th, we took a water taxi to Torrent Bay, a point almost half way up the trail, and hiked back to Marahau, a 17km walk that took six hours to complete. Not a difficult hike, but after running 13.1 miles two days before, the hills burned our legs and bums and within 3km of Marahau, we were tired and cold. The thought of fish and chips from The Fat Tui (a bird) was the only thing that kept us moving.
The following day we slept in and took a water taxi to Torrent Bay again, but this time hiked up the trail to Bark Bay where we were picked up by a taxi to take us back to Marahau. The water taxis are great. The drivers (boaters?) took time to show us points of interests, including two small islands, one for the male seals and the other for the female seals and their cubs. This idea might also work well for humans. When we returned to Marahau during low tide, a farm tractor pulled the boat 100 yards to land. Interesting.
We left Abel Tasman today to begin driving South toward Queenstown. Made a brief stop in Punakaiki to see the Pancake Rocks. Saw penguin crossing signs for the first time here...anywhere. Tonight we’re in Hokitika, and tomorrow we head to Franz Josef Glacier.
Abel Tasman did not disappoint. Pics below tell a better story. Miss you. Cheers.