Today (30th December) we left Nelson and made the 1 hour drive to A place called Kaiteriteri near Abel Tasman National Park. This place is named after the first explorer to discover New Zealand – Abel Tasman. It is know for its 4 day walk but as we only had a day we needed to make the most of it!
After a late breakfast we arrived in Kaiteriteri at around 11 o’clock, the first thing that struck me was that the beaches were the most golden beaches I had ever seen (sorry to rub it n). We were booked onto a half day sea kayaking tour at 12.30 which I was told is the best way to see Abel Tasman when you only have a short space of time. So after having lunch and a quick walk around to was time to set sail!
I was a little bit nervous you know me I’m a bit of a wimp but as you know I have been trying to be more adventurous with my trips lately and this is a definite example of me being adventurous! We were in a double kayak to Chris’ amusement, and after being told all the safety details and what to do if we capsized (I nearly quit then) we got into the kayaks and paddled off.
The first part of the trip was all lovely and calm, but as we got further out to sea the waves turned rough and I though Jaws was going to appear. It was pretty fun once we got used to it but due to the rough sea it was much harder to paddle and I kept having mini panics that we were going to capsize ( Chris stayed his normal calm self). It took about an hour to paddle out (felt like 6) and the guide kept stopping up and making us into a kayak raft and telling us stories about the area – it was pretty amazing.
As we reached our final point which was Split Apple Rock which doesn’t need much explanation but it’s a rock that has split in half to look like an apple (so original name). The Rock was really cool and we paddled in and out of some caves that had been used in the past to store Maori war canoes.
We then spent half and hour on the beach with a picnic of coffee, biscuits and of course- apples. We shared stories and jokes which I know sounds very cliche but it was such a lovely experience.
On the paddle back it was much calmer and we became the fastest in the group once we found a paddle rhythm. Once we were back on dry land we set off to see part of the National Park further up the coast which also included amazing golden beaches and turquoise waters.
We then headed to our backpackers called Kanuka Ridge which is a little wood cabin right in the heart of the forest. We had our own little private deck and we sat out under the veranda reading and watching the short downpour it is was really magical and calm.
I needed an early night after all that paddling and as I have no upper strength whatsoever I think I might need some deep heat in the morning!
Sorry there aren’t many pictures I was terrified I would lose my camera forever at the bottom of the sea.
Next stop Greymouth for New Year!