A Travellerspoint blog

Abel Tasman Park

22 °C

We took the ferry to the South Island (Picton) this morning with Abel Tasman Park being our first destination. Thankfully the weather was quite good so we could sit outside all morning and even saw dolphins twice.
We decided to change our original route and go straight to Kaikoura after Abel Tasman Park, as we all agreed that it is important to all of us to see whales and for me to swim with dolphins. If we would have gone down the west coast first as originally planned, Kaikoura would have been the last stop and apparently you sometimes need to wait a few days before the boats can go out due to the weather and we didn't want to risk that.
The South Island is absolutely stunning so far. Already the ferry ride was amazing. The weather is good and we are wild camping on a beach by Marahau. Here is where the whole disaster with the sand flies started. Tiny little innocent looking flies... but oh no, innocent they are not!! Lethal blood sucking, most horrible itching and ever lasting bites they cause those evil creatures! The bites we would get that night would last until the end of the holiday.... Our legs looked like befallen by some sort of skin disease! Very attractive!!!

The next day my Mum and myself went for a kayaking tour in Abel Tasman Park, which was fantastic! We had really good weather, well , at least it wasn't rainng, which is good here. Absolutely loved the kayaking, quite hard work but not as bad as I expected and it was working really well with my Mum, which proves the point that my technique isn't as bad as Matthi kept saying when we went kayaking in Sweden! :-) I am sure he would disagree...
First we were pulled out to the sea, which was quite strange, as we were sitting in the boat while the boat was still on a trailor. Basically like a taxi which was dropped straight into the sea. The boat dropped us and the kayaks at Bark Bay where we also met the other 4 Israeli attending the tour. We were kayaking aournd beautiful scenary. Fantastic beaches, turqois water and the thick forest of Abel Tasman Park in the background. The forest here looks a bit like the rainforest in Australia. We also went to two little islands where we saw loads of seals. They are a bit smaller than the Aussie ones and have their ears outside whereas the Aussie ones have them inside. REally cute little fellows. We had lunch at one of the beautiful beaches ,which looked like paradise, absolutely fantastic. While trying to climb out of the kayak, Mutti fell in the water, much to the amusement of all of us. And it really didn't have anything to do with me... Promise! :-) Unfortunately it wasn't warm enough for swimming, apart from the unintended dip of my Mum....
We also got to see some cool granit caves, where Mutti fell between the rocks while climbing. REally not her day....
I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it, what a great hobby... might need to consider taking up kayaking on the Thames... ;-)
On our way back we were sailing back by creating a most bizarre construction. The guide told us to hold the 3 kayaks together and then put up a sail, which was used as picnic blanket for our lunch. We got some serious speed and it was great fun. Well, for me and the others anyway, not so much for my Mum as she had to hold up the mast which was quite difficult. As I said, not one of her best days... :-)
Back at the campsit we had a much appreciated shower. That's part of the camping world. Even doing your laundry seems like a reward. Amazing how perspectives change.... By the time I am back, I am going to be one smelly girl....:-) hee, hee....

Although our van doesn't seem that big, we manage to keep loosing things. I lost my camera cable, my Mum her dogging station and so on. The other night my Mum and Antje did their laundry and when Antje went to pick up the second lot from the dryer the whole load was gone. Someoene had quite clearly nicked all our stuff. So, we carried on and had a few drinks to cheer ourselves up. The next morning Antje remembered the whole thing and went again to check, hoping that someone had taken it by mistake and put it back. After she found the dryer still empty and no sign of the laundry and she told a few people on the campsite and made it very clear what she thought of the thiefs. Fortunately the owners werent there. The ladies she cmplained to, even offered here some cloth....
After a while my Mum found a top in her drawer that was believed nicked. To cut a long story short, we were so drunk that none of us remembered and realised taht they had taken the laundry out of the dryer and tidily put it into their drawers... so it has been there the whole time. Needless to say that we had a few too many that night. Anyway, it was very funny at the time but I suppose you had to be there. That's now our joke for the trip though.

After her lucky day yesterday, my Mum almost fell down from the second bed which is in the top of the van and we haven't quite worked out how to fix the ladder properly... so the whole thing came down with a huge bang in the middle of the night, while she was trying to climb down. Antje jumped out of bed in shock, asking her:"MONI, bist du schon unten?" (is only funny in German...). We laughed the whole day about that. Needless to say that Antje and myself again had quite a few. I, on the other hand, being a caring daughter as always, didn't even wake up. My Mum could have broken her back and I would have slept through it. Too much drinkng at the moment... After Australia I am not used to that much drinking anymore...

The next day we went walking in Able Tasman Park. The water taxi dropped us off at Totaranui where we started our 4 hour walk. On our way to the drop off we stopped at another seal rock which was really cool. They were so active and most of them were in the water playing, swimming around, relaxing. Really great!
The walk was amazing. The weather was fantastic, probably the we had here on the South Island so far. The beaches are an absolute dream and Antje started to believe that not all holiday brochures are photoshopped! :-)
There were hardly any other people on the walk and we had some great walking. Either on the beach or inland. Mutti and myself were even so brave to go swimming, which was a great decision, as it was the last time in New Zealand. It was freezing cold, I acutally didn't feel my feet and hands anymore but really really nice. After that sandflie attack the second came over us. So bad. This time they went for the whole body not just the legs.... little Bastards!
The last part of the treck should have taken 1.5 hours but we needed at least 2, although we were almost running for the last hour. Something wasn't right there. Either we got lost, which is hardly impossilbe or they miscalculated. We agreed on the latter option...:-)
Anyway, we missed our pick up from the water taxi and got stranded in huge Abel Tasman Park! Going through our options, which basically meant walking for several hours to get to the next hut, as we couldn't have made it back to the campsite, we realised that first of all a lot of the huts were booked out and secondly the reason we didn't do an overnight treck was that we weren't equipped for it, meaning you have to bring your own sleeping bag and food to those huts. All they basically provide is a roof in a dorm. It wasn't even clear whether we could make it before sunset to one of the huts, which would have left us with the other option, staying at the beach. Checking our supplies, we counted 3 bananas, 3 apples and 3 wet towels..... You see how we got more and more worried of what to do. As the huts didn't sound to appealing we stayed at the beach and fortunately the guy came back 40 mins later being seriously pissed off as he had to come back all the way just for us. We didn't really get the friendliest welcome to say the least but we were so happy to be saved. That would have been a damn cold night!

It certainly taught us a lesson. One girl on the boat said exactely the same and agreed that some distances are under-estimated and vice versa. So, it wasn't our fault! :-)
We had a very relaxed and funny evening following that, so much appreciating our "home", beds, food and everything...;-) We do have a lot of fun I have to say....

Tomorrow it's going to Kaikoura where I have booked the whale watchfing for us and hopefully do the dolphin swimming too...

Oh, while searching for our cables and all that stuff, I took out one of the drawers thinking it might have fallen behind it and see what I find... I beautiful greenstone, nicely wrapped as a souvenir, exactely like I wanted one.
I did feel a bit bad as it was obviously for someone else but there is no way that with a several year old van you could have figured out who has lost it there. In hinsight, I got my punishment as I lost it later on... just wasn' meant to be. Now I will need to buy one on the Internet after all :-)

Posted by Julia1976 08:51 Archived in New Zealand

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint