Day 24 – Abel Tasman National Park
Another day in the stunning National park is installed for me today. After leaving my overnight camping spot, I head into Marahau where booked into to do a full day kayak tour. Once I had arrived, nice and early, I find out that they have booked me in wrong and was booked in for 2 people doing a half day tour and their full day tour was full. After a bit of twiddling their thumbs they got me onto another trip with the tour company down the road, Marahau Sea Kayaks, they hire out kayaks or you can take one of their many tours.
After the hectic start, I head on down to meet my guide for the day, Zac, and the rest of the guest on the tour. After a briefing on the kayaks and the Fantasy Island tour that a few of us are doing today, we get the kayaks loaded up onto the trailer and we head down to the beach. I’m paired up with the guide Zac for the day in the double Kayak. We Push all the other off the beach before we jump in our kayak and start to heading along the coast line. The Sun was now beaming down, Blue skies and no wind, perfect day to be out on the water. Following the Golden sand beaches and bush covered hills of the National park, we paddle past Coquille bay and around to Apple Tree Bay, Zac giving us a good history lesson on the whole area.
Next, we leave the mainland and head out to Adele Island, this is a predator free island and is home to many of the native New Zealand birds as well as some of the seals that live in the park. The Island was named by a French explorer, Dumont d’Urville, that thought the island looked like a woman laying down, so named it after his wife. After the 10-minute paddle across we get to some more stunning beaches and get to see some of the bird life. We head around the northern side of the island and come across more wildlife, the New Zealand fur Seal. Mothers in the sun or oiling their fur in the shallows and the little pups playing in the little rock pools. Known as the playful Dogs of the sea and you can see why after spending just a few minutes with them.
Time for a bit of lunch and 4 of the group are going to be walking the track in the afternoon, so we head back to the mainland, over to Observation Beach. Zac sets up a nice picnic area on the beach and we indulge in some of the sandwiches and Chocolate Brownie. After the morning getting backed in the sun, it called for a quick swim in the clear water, it was so cold but nice and refreshing at the same time. After a quick dry off, we said good bye to the 4 that were doing the afternoon hike and 4 others arrived that are going to kayak back with us.
Now we are heading back to base at Marahau, a few more beaches paddled past before Zac shows us a couple of caves, your only able to get to them at high tide so lucky for us it was close to high tide. We all had a go at going inside, not the longest of caves but still a cool to see inside and how the ocean is eroding the rock away. Next, we try and find some stingrays but today we were unsuccessful. With the sun still beating down, zapping the energy out of us, we carried on back to the beach were the Van and trailer were there to pick us. After a quick clean off it was time to head back to the freedom camp again for another night. Tomorrow I head a bit further north to see a few more sites.