This past week has been great! Bryan and I finally arrived on the South Island last Monday and have been having a blast! First thing we did was head to the town of Nelson to visit my friend Emily. I have not seen Emily since college 5 years ago. It was great to hang out and catch up with one of my best lacrosse buds! Not only was it great seeing Emily, but she was an awesome host and organized a sea kayaking and tramping trip on the Abel Tasman Coast Track (one of NZ’s 9 great walks) while we visited!
Organizing the hike/kayak was fairly simple, we looked at a map of the hike online and got a general idea of what we wanted to do. Emily then googled kayaking Abel Tasman and found Kahu Kayaks. They offered a deal where we could rent kayaks for the day and they would bring our backpacks to us at a meeting point for the tramping part of our journey, and all for a very reasonable price.
We started kayaking from the town of Marahau (where the trail also starts) and kayaked to Anchorage (red arrows) and then hiked to Bark Bay to camp for the night. The next day we hiked out on the trail to Marahau.
We paddled over to Adele Island to check out the seal colony on the northeast side. Only two seals were visible from where we were, but during our morning break a seal swam just 10 feet off the shore of the beach we were on.
Choosing a lunch spot was one of the harder decisions to make because every single beach was gorgeous and deserted. If you choose to kayak the first day of Abel Tasman Walk, it will probably be the smartest choice you make! Kayaking past the busy section of the trail gave us the solitude and relaxed feeling of being out in the bush just what we were looking for.
The next day we headed back the way we came the day before, towards Anchorage Hut and went on past it back to the town of Marahau where we put the kayaks in, walking in total 24.5km (15.25 miles). This may seem like a long day, and it was, but the majority of the trail is level. The first half of our day the only people we saw were the three of us, but as soon as we passed Anchorage Hut the trail was clogged with day hikers and tourists.
Overall we had a great time on the Abel Tasman! Before we visited Emily we had almost written it off, because we thought we wouldn’t make it over. I’m so happy that we were able to have such a great experience!