by sam on 18th April 2017
Boat into the Abel Tasman NP
Two days near Nelson in the Abel Tasman National Park were lovely. Most of the National park is not accessible by road so there are water taxis and other boats that stop at about 10 different stops along the length of the coast, you can walk from an hour to about 5 days!
Its named after a Dutch explorer who first discovered the area in the 1600s, ironically he never set foot on this area, he fired a single cannon shot from his ship as a hello signal, but the Maoris living there took it as an attack and retaliated to shoo them away further down the West Coast.
We went for a boat up to Totaranui at the top of the park to see the length of it from the water, then came back to Tonga Quarry and walked about 4-5km to Medland Beach, a very pretty little bay.
The ATNP has very little civilisation, there are a few longdrop loos around and a couple of Department of Conservation filtered water taps and one cafe/lodge, otherwise theres not a lot there except beautiful golden yellow sand, rainforest and blue/green sea that its famous for.
On the way out we passed Split Apple Rock, a huge spherical lump of granite that has split in half, it really does look manmade as its so perfect , and Adele Island a marine reserve where more NZ fur seals come to have their pups.
J and Adam waterfall climbing
As usual, the weather was pants in the morning, it was freezing on the boat and the sea didnt look all that great. (Apparently this area has been the sunniest in NZ for years!) but as we docked on the beach it brightened up and after walking up some steep old cliff sides it got quite warm, and in the end Liss was stripping off and sitting in the sea to cool down!
We passed various other walkers, a couple of cool waterfalls and yet another swing bridge (J loves these) before we stopped for our picnic. We were on a mission to find the elusive Silver fern, as the symbol of NZ, (there are petitions to change the NZ flag to be black with the silver fern, and it is on the their passports too) and a Koru.
Koru is like a circular bud on a fern that, as it unfurls, reveals smaller mini Koru that unroll out to each side to form the fern shape. It is the Maori symbol of new beginnings and harmony, and was the name of our accomodation near Punakaiki a few days ago. The symbol used in all kinds of things here, especially house things and gifts. We found both, we probably found the ferns before but realised by accident that the silver is on the underside... At least we think it was silver fern!
Koru- symbol of new beginnings and harmony
We didnt have much time in Kaiteriteri where the boat leaves from to play as we had a dinner date with Barb, who I used to work with in Bristol, and her lovely Dave, about 40 minutes away in Nelson. Its quite a stunning little spot they have high up on the hill, and as Barbs grandson was visiting, who is the same age as Adam, the kids as good fun and enjoyed a home cooked meal too!
Cabin by the park - happy Liss!
Our cabin for these couple of days was kind of like tenting. We had a kitchen cabin, which basically has a kitchen sink and a 2 ring hob squeezed into a tenny corner with no worktop space, but no bathroom so middle of the night runs to the loo block, but the living disco was ok, cosy with a bunk and a double bunk in one room.
We used the BBQs and cooked and ate in the big communal kitchen area, which has kettles, ovens, hobs, fridge freezers and worktop space, they are at all the campsites we have stayed at, none of the tents seem to bother taking gas stoves etc as they dont need them. This is the first site we have stayed at that had a pool though and warmth enough to use it- Liss thought it was great, and best of all it was opposite our front door.