The following morning we were up with the lark, to catch a bus at 7:30 from a stop about 10 minutes away from our hotel. We were heading out for a day in the
Abel Tasman National Park, which is found around the top of the South Island, across the from Nelson. We were driven for around an hour to get to Kaiteriteri, where we boarded a boat. The boat took us to Tasman Bay , making a few stops on the way as our captain took us to Split Apple Rock and some other bays on the way. Bark Bay
We waded ashore at
, then, after a quick rest to dry and reshoe ourselves, we set off onto the Abel Tasman walkway, which runs along the coast of the park. We thought that we’d have a nice, tranquil stroll through the park, away from the hustle and bustle of the city…wrong! It was the day of the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic, a 36k run which started at 9:30 that morning from Totaranui. Every minute or so we were passed by a runners either singly or in groups. Bark Bay
|The local wildlife wasn't what we expected|
At one point we were able to fork off from the main track and go out to a spur, where it was a bit quieter. A fantail decided to join us and hung around long enough to be photographed.
Eventually the last of the runners passed us, and we had a more peaceful time of it from then on. We crossed the swing bridge, followed by quite a steep ascent; and passed a sign to
, which we decided not to visit…because it’s probably full of sandflies, and they give you a bite that itches like hell. We finally made it back to Sandfly Bay . Whilst this is where we were eventually supposed to be picked up, we were in fact only halfway there, as there was still the small matter of following the track around to The Anchorage, which took us quite a way inland before we were able to cross the river which runs into the bay. We decided to stop for lunch at this point, and found a picnic table in amongst the campsite. Then we cracked on, taking a short detour to Cleopatra’s Pool, which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment as it was inaccessible due to the heavy rains of the previous weeks, which made the crossing to the pool impassable. Torrent Bay
We got round to our final pick-up point with time to spare, and idled about in the sun, watched by a pair of red-billed gulls and a pair of oystercatchers.
We then did our journey in reverse, getting back to our hotel in plenty of time to get ready to go out to The Boatshed; having acquired a righteous hunger from the day’s walking, we dined on whitebait and crayfish, and mushroom bruschetta and roast duck, all washed down with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.