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A day trip through Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Abel Tasman

Getting to Abel Tasman

On the first leg of our first road trip in New Zealand, Scott and I went to Marlborough. Next, we drove through Picton to Nelson New Zealand. This was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever driven, but it was not documented for one simple reason. I was driving. The third part of our road trip took us to one of the loveliest parks in New Zealand, Abel Tasman National Park.

The Kayaking

I love water. I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years and competitive rower for a fast minute as well. There is very little I like better than splashing around in the sea. Kayaking in Abel Tasman is one of the best ways to enjoy their crystal blue waters. We rented our kayaks from Kahu Kayaks in Marahau, on the southern end of Abel Tasman. Kahu offers plenty of different tours, including multiple day trips. We opted for the 1 day kayak and walk journey. From Marahau, we kayaked to Anchorage bay, stopping along the way to visit small beaches, eat our snacks and observe the wild life. New Zealand has a lot of seals. Trying to spot them amongst the rocks is a fun game.

After dropping off the kayaks in Anchorage bay, we went in for a dip. The water looks beautiful and the sun bright and hot, but the water is cold. Cold, cold, cold. After working up a sweat kayaking we couldn’t ignore the call of the perfectly clear, blue water, but it was probably one of the coldest swims of my life. While drying off in the sun after (we remembered bathing suits but forgot towels), we got eaten alive by sand flies. Sand flies are everywhere in New Zealand. Their bites can last for months, leaving you itching for longer than any mosquito bite.

Once dry, we began our hike back.

Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman

The Hiking

Looking back on it now, this was really a very easy hike. At a little more than 12k, this small portion of the Abel Tasman Coast Track offers stunning views of the bays below. It’s only 4 hours long, which is perfect for after a morning Kayak. It is well worn for the unexperienced hiker. Or for people like me, who forgot hiking boots, and only had their Tevas.

Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman

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Photography and words by Diana Eastman
For more from Diana, follow her on Instagram at @thedianaeastman.

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