Abel Tasman National Park and Cook Strait

Trip Start Nov 16, 2005
Trip End Apr 11, 2006

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sun 12th Feb.....

We got up early and decided to walk part of the Abel Tasman National Park. To get to the beginning of the Track we had to drive to Motueka via millions of orchards growing apples, pears, kiwis etc - we stopped at the roadside and bought a bag of apples -the nicest apples I have ever tasted! This town was founded in the 1840's. The climate here is wonderful - we had a glorious sunny morning and started our walk at the info centre - you can choose any length walk from an hour to 5 days! We decided on a three-hour walk as we had to catch the ferry to Wellington - I had already changed the crossing time to an evening one so we could do the walk. It was the best walk of the south island - the birds (both seabirds and land birds) the bays were a beautiful torquoise/aquamarine colour and the beaches were golden and sandy - I went into the water and it was lovely and warm - all in all beautiful stunning coastal scenery - I would love to have had the time to do the week's walk, but it is a very popular track and you have to book the overnight stays a long time in advance. You can also return by boat from different points on the track.

We drove back and had a very late lunch in Picton before boarding the Interislander ferry for Wellington - this was another exciting part of the trip - the crossing is 3 hours and goes through the Marlborough Sounds - a collection of islands and peninsulas - very beautiful - we then went through the Cook Strait (part of the Roaring Forties) we were very lucky that the sea was calm because this body of water can have powerful currents and heavy swells, making it one of the most dangerous stretches of water you can find. We sawthe QEII comingout of Wellington harbour on our way in. It was a wonderful crossing and we arrived in Wellington at 9 30 pm.

Highlights of South Island - in no particular order

Walking in the Abel Tasman National Park
Trip to Doubtful Sound
Wineries of Marlborough
TransAlpine drive from Christchurch to the West Coast
The Franz Joseph Glacier walk
West Coast Drive
The Otago Peninsula drive

One could spend another month on the south island and still have plenty to see and do. Bye bye from this part of NZ.

The pics for this part of the trip cannot be uploaded at the moment -will follow eventually!!
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