The Abel Tasman National Park
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
12Trip End Feb 28, 2011
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On board the Kiwi Experience, Nelson, The Abel Tasman National Park and Blenheim
I left Picton on the Kiwi Experience bus. Slightly apprehensive about the bus given it's nicknames (which i won't write here but needless to say it has a sort of club 18-30s rep). Turns out, my bus was really nice, interesting driver and lots of nice people on board, mainly Brits - we seem to be everywhere. Our first stop was a vineyard (very good sign) we then drove through the most wonderful mountain range for about 2 hours to the town of Nelson.
Nelson has a lovely historic feel to it. The architecture is really interesting, mainly Victorian, and it gives it a nice feel to it, very different from most of the other towns i have been to
I'm staying in a room with 5 other English girls who are all very nice, it's good to be girly again! We left the hostel very early on Thursday morning and headed up to the town of Mouteka, the entrance to the Abel Tasman National Park. After our kayak training we launched into the sea (which surprised me, i was expecting a gentle river, oh no!) We paddled for most of the morning stopping in bays to look for seals, of which there were lots! very cute! the big daddy ones are a bit scary when you are only a meter or two away in a tiny kayak! We stopped for lunch in the most beautiful bay. I loved how you could see tropical waters in front of you, rain forest behind you and in the distance snow topped mountains - very cool!
After about 6 hours of kayaking and very sore shoulders later we arrived at Bark Bay which was our camp for the night
After the most uncomfortable nights sleep ever, a combination of rocks in your back and the 28 sanfly bites i have all over me! i was pleased to wake up to see sunrise on the beach - not something you see everyday! Our group met up with another few people staying at the camp and headed onto the track to walk to 20k back to the base camp. It was such a beautiful walk, though rain forest and sandy white beaches. Muscle ache did kick in around hour 7, but we made it back in one piece! I was absolutely shattered but thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days. The landscape really wasn't what i was expecting of New Zealand, the photos don't do the color of the sea, sky and trees justice - it was stunning! A must do for anyone in NZ!
On Saturday i caught the bus over to Blenheim, the wine making capital of NZ (i have a feeling I'm going to like this place). I went on a wine tasting tour on Monday afternoon which was lots of fun (obviously!) Our first stop was Cloudy Bay - yummy!!! We went to 5 other wineries and arrived back in Blenheim slightly fuzzy! Everyone on the tour was really nice so we all went out together for, yep, more wine.
Tomorrow I'm catching a bus to Hanmer Springs to start some more woofing on a sheep, cow and bee farm.
Hope everyone is well.