Ready, Abel, and Tasman

One of the most popular tracks in New Zealand is the Abel Tasman track, in the north of the South Island. The track meanders along one of the most beautiful stretches of coast we’ve ever seen – and at this point, we’ve seen quite a few. Blond sandy beaches, ridiculously clear turquoise water, caves and coves, and New Zealand’s typical lush rainforest towering above it all. One can enjoy the track on a kayak or walking, or mixing both – as we did. We started with two days of kayaking in a double-kayak, taking everything we needed with us on the kayak – it’s impressive how much one can store inside a kayak! Naturally there’s plenty of wildlife (seals, birds, fish, pretty shells) that was easily viewed from the kayak. It was fun to build our own “itinerary” by landing on whatever beach we wanted to – most were pretty empty. We overnighted in our tent – or “tented” as they locals would say. After two days of kayaking we had the kayak and our bag picked up and delivered to the starting point, while we continued walking another (marvelous) day and had a boat pick us up at the end of our walk.

As you’ll see in the photos, this is a gorgeous gorgeous place and kayaking it was a unique (though definitely not easy!) experience. We loved it!

The holiday park we stayed at the night before starting the Abel Tasman track was a good preparation - a "micro-cabin" with a nice track to the toilet.

The holiday park we stayed at the night before starting the Abel Tasman track was good preparation for the track itself – a “micro-cabin” (or nano, actually) with a nice track to the toilet.

After a surprisingly thorough 3-hour safety briefing / kayaking instructions we were off to kayak with this lovely beast. Here we're recovering from the lively rain we had in the first two hours of kayaking.

After a surprisingly thorough 3-hour safety briefing / kayaking instructions we were off to kayak with this lovely beast. Here we’re recovering from the rain we had in the first two hours of kayaking.

Waiting for our clothes to dry...

Waiting for our clothes to dry…

Our kayak, emptied from all our bags, tent, sleeping bags, and food, almost ready to be carried up to be stored for the night, safe from a high tide of four or six meters high. The beach we stayed on is quite popular, that big boat in the background was playing dance music into the night..

Our kayak, emptied from all our bags, tent, sleeping bags, and food, almost ready to be carried up to be stored for the night, safe from a high tide of four or six meters high. The beach we stayed on is quite popular, that big boat in the background is actually a floating hostel…

After a long day of kayaking, including passing something called "The Mad Mile" where we definitely tested the stability of the kayak, we got some well-deserved rest on the beach...

After a long day of kayaking, including passing something called “The Mad Mile” where we definitely tested the stability of the kayak, we got some well-deserved rest on the beach…

Ahhh...

Ahhh…

Followed by a dip in the sea.

Followed by a dip in the sea.

Sunset...

Sunset…

And sunrise... Our walk on the third (and last) day included two crossings only possible at low tide. Since low tide was pretty early in the day, we woke up at the awesome hour of 5:45am. It was actually pretty cool to walk during sunrise.

And sunrise… Our walk on the third (and last) day included two crossings only possible at low tide. Since low tide was pretty early in the day, we woke up at the awesome hour of 5:45am. It was actually pretty cool to walk during sunrise.

This lagoon is almost dry now, but in a few hours it will be full of water coming in with the high tide. This is the reason we had to wake up so early and be here before the high tide.

This lagoon is almost dry now, but in a few hours it will be full of water coming in with the high tide. This is the reason we had to wake up so early and be here before the high tide.

Lots of shells in the low tide.

Lots of shells in the low tide.

After crossing the lagoon, looking back. We made it while it's still dry, phew!

After crossing the lagoon, looking back. We made it while it was still dry, phew!

The walk was absolutely stunning. From now on we'll let the photos speak for themselves...

The walk was absolutely stunning. From now on we’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

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The post-track coffee + wedges were sweet as, mate!

The post-track coffee + wedges were sweet as, mate!

Our bag, with "all kinds of junk attached to it", as the delivery boat crew who had to carry it described it.

Our bag, with “all kinds of bloody rubish” attached to it, as the delivery boat crew who had to carry it described it. We prefer to call it “the art of packing”.