Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Abel Tasman

Some of the rangers are doing their Duke of Edinburgh Silver and for their final expedition they wanted to do the Abel Tasman great walk. I was happy to oblige them as I haven't done it and was also keen - especially in winter when it isn't overcrowded by tourists. Fortunately the weather also cooperated and we had 3 amazing days of glorious sunshine, calm and actually quite mild temperatures for winter.
The team - Sian, Liz, Bryony, Jo, Jess and Helen

A few slightly complicated logistics as this trip involved flying down to Nelson and then catching a bus and then a water taxi to the end of the track and then walking back over 3 days, then catching another bus back to the airport. However, other than a 30 minute delay in the flight back to Wellington it all went to plan. 

It was great to get views of this beautiful National Park from both the water taxi - looking onshore - and then walking along the coast. The track is a combination of walking through the bush, along the edge of cliffs on the coast, along the beaches, and crossing various inlets - some of which can only be crossed at low tide or 2 hours either side (an extra bit of planning). We were not brave enough to take a dip in the sea - despite the aquamarine colour that looked so inviting at times...

Split rock from the water taxi
Walking across one of the inlets and beaches at low tide
Beautiful forests and rivers coming down to the coast 

We had the huts pretty much to ourselves - just a couple of others - including a german guy that was very happy for the company! I highly recommend doing the great walks in winter when you get them almost to yourself... and can enjoy the beautiful scenery with few sand flies and minimal chance of sun burn...  We did however experience a very large earthquake on the second night when we were in the hut, and many, many after shocks... which kept us on our toes. We spent a good 30 minutes keeping an eye on the sea to make sure there was no tsunami as the hut was less than a metre above sea level.
Awaroa Hut - right on the inlet - orange markers are the low tide route - high tide came up to the boundary between the light and dark sand... 

Moon rise at Bark Bay - low tide

Sunrise on the final day - we had to start at 7:30am - just when it got light

The girls did great and the weather was just perfect.... it would have been great for kayaking too as it was so calm the - Next time! 

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