Abel Tasman National Park
Doing the ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ Abel Tasman Coastal Walk at our own pace.
Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
We caught the water taxi in the town of Motueka … literally. They were just about to leave but held up departure until we climbed aboard the boat, which was still on a trailer, and donned lifejackets. A tractor pulled us through town, out onto the firm sandy beach and backed us into the outgoing tide.
Abel Tasman sailed into these waters in 1642 and began charting the coastline and islands.
While in the area four of Tasman’s crew were killed by local Maori residents. The story changes with the telling but ranges from hostile murdering natives to punishment dealt out after crew members made free with local maidens. Either way Tasman took to the sea. The next ship to drop anchor for charting purposes was that of the Frenchman D’Urville. He named Adele Island in honour of his wife. After that it was the famous Captain Cook.
The boat took us south to Split Apple Rock. Images of Split Apple Rock are sometimes used to advertise Abel Tasman National Park but in reality it’s not in the park.
From there the water taxi traveled north past Fisherman Island and Adele Island and into Anchorage Bay where the crew let us off in knee deep water. Upon reaching shore we began our four hour 12.4 km trek back along the coast line to Marahau.
The first part of the trail was the hardest … a steep climb in the heat of the day without shade. Sherrie huffed and puffed her way to the top, dreading the whole hike was going to be this difficult but quickly found the worst over and the rest of the trek was comfortable and filled with ooh and aah sights.
The track turned inland winding in and out of several little gullies, then through lush beech tree forest. Above Cyathea Cove our trail followed the coastline and offered stunning vistas of Adele Island and the smaller, curved Fisherman Island. Partway through we stopped for a drink and snack using a flat rock in a creek as our picnic table. Eventually the trail dropped down into open country and over the Marahau causeway across an estuary.
The trek back had been a wonderful, memorable experience.
Returning to Dehra Doon Chalets we apologized to our hosts for the morning rush of checking in and dropping off our bags before making a dash for the boat, and thanked them for the five fresh picked grapefruit from their orchard. The young family was most likeable and willing to help make our stay in their area a positive one. Our self-contained -chalet was spacious, clean and comfortable; suitable for a longer stay but we would be away after a two nights stay; we’re always curious about what’s around the next corner.
Dehra Doon Chalets
Whether you are looking to hike the Abel Tasman trails, tramp the Kahurangi, discover new art or perhaps a new wine, sea kayak, go horseback riding or bask in the sun on golden beaches, provide an ideal home base for your adventures or a quiet retreat to take a day off from vacationing and simply relax with a good book and that wine you discovered.
Address: 139 Dehra Doon Road, Riwaka, Tasman
Phone: +64 3 528 8942 or 027 247 3500
ABEL TASMAN NATIOANAL PARK
Renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and world-famous coast track, Abel Tasman National Park offers a variety of activities over hours or days to fit any traveller’s schedule. For us the perfect fit was an afternoon which began with a water taxi to the start a 4 hour walk which now counts among our favorite New Zealand memories.