Abel Tasman National Park

Trip Start Aug 17, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, August 31, 2012

It was a long winding drive to Golden Bay, where we stayed at a beachfront motel in Pohara. It was evening when we arrived and there was nowhere to buy supplies to cook so we had to eat out. A fruitless search of every local restaurant known to the satnav in an attempt to find one that was actually open left us with a single option in the village so we had a pub dinner, including splashing out for dessert.
The next morning we headed into Abel Tasman National Park. We had originally intended to go sea kayaking, but having the unexpected expenditure of the skydives we decided to stick to the land anyway, we had done a fair bit of kayaking in Asia. First stop was Wainui falls. After a walk along the river, where Rosie decided she had to take a closer look, as usual, and ended up on her bum after falling down the sand bank, we crossed a swing bridge in the forest and were confronted with an stunning rainbow filled waterfall. It was wonderfully tranquil, an hour's trek into forest from what was already a very quiet road and we saw nobody else walking in either direction. We drove deeper into the national park to Totaranui. We walked part of the coastal track, which is 4-5 days' hiking in its entirety, only going 2 hours along and back the same way. We walked along several deserted beaches, which would have been lovely swimming spots were it 10 degrees warmer and crossed the estuary to Awaroa, which can only be done at low tide. Even at low tide we had to go barefoot and wade through puddles and across a graveyard of clam shells. The Department of Conservation camping huts actually looked like very pleasant places to stay on multi-day hike, apart from the army of sand flies present.
Once it was open the village store didn't have anything too appetising for us to cook up for dinner, so we set out in search of food again. In Takaka we found what we had been hunting for – fish and chips! Unfortunately New Zealand's stolen “own” take away doesn't also offer mushy peas. Like the “Kiwi” (English) breakfast, it is the same as ours, only slightly inferior. Rosie didn't want to leave, given we were staying on a beautiful beach, but I promised her we'd go somewhere else pretty, and with a long drive ahead of us we made an early start the next day.
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