Why not walk all day and have a water taxi take your bags and drop them off at your overnight stop for you? The Abel Tasman Track is an ideal alternative to lugging your stuff for miles up and over mountains. It’s so much easier on the feet without thousands of rocks rearing up at you or forcing you to scramble all over the place. Combine this with magnificent views of the ocean, sandy tracks, a chance to kyak and even bring the kids, if you like. Consequently, it’s very popular. Here’s a map showing the Abel Tasman National Park and the water taxi details. We visited in December a couple of years ago and whole families were spending Christmas together camping by the ocean and walking the tracks. Santa appeared along the track at one point as well as a very festive hiker, totally laden down with a huge pack overflowing with gifts, but who still had a long way to go.
After flying into Christchurch and visiting Mt Cook we returned to catch the Trans Coastal Train along the coast from Christchurch up to Blenheim and a bus onto Nelson where we stayed at the Trailways Hotel, which was excellent. Next morning we were picked up by Wilson’s Experience for our five day Abel Tasman walk. We booked online through Hiking NZ and had a terrific time. Picton is the next stop where you can catch the Interislander ferry for the 92km/3hrs across Cook Strait to New Zealand’s North Island. Just love these New Zealand trains, especially the ‘open air’ carriage where the photo hungry congregate and happily snap away as the railway line often runs right by the ocean and through many tunnels. Definitely had scones at Arthurs Pass on the Tranz Alpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth but can’t remember having them here, although I may have been preoccupied taking photos in the open carriage, as you can see.
The tidal nature of the track meant this was my initiation into Tevas, the sturdy water sandals. Everyone needed something similar so we could all enjoy stomping through the water and over the shells in the estuaries with such reckless abandon. Great fun, especially as the tide rises or falls, as long as you allow yourself plenty of time to cross. Here, everything is determined by the tides. Totally amazing to see the transformation, with a ferry arriving at your front door right where you walked the night before!
Meanwhile, many days have been spent working over the soil in the new garden beds and reflecting on the Abel Tasman Walk. It was wonderful to get more soil delivered and have it actually look like a garden bed. All it needs now is plants! Lots of them!