The Tropics if New Zealand

Published: June 10th 2018
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Marahua, on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park, and the most tropical place imaginable outside of the Caribbean itself. In Summer it looks and feels that way at least, and in Winter well, it's still pretty close! Nothing is open. The one bar and cafe combined, the stone-baked pizza grill and all but one sea kayak rental establishment, shut for Winter. Marahau is one beach front road that takes you straight to the edge of the NP; apart from three campsites, two horseback centres and the aforementioned, that's it. The peace and tranquillity, plus the lack of people this time of year, made it the most perfect place to take a couple of nights out.

Choosing a paid spot, Marahau Beach Campsite, could not have been better in any respect. Spotlessly clean, having all facilities on hand, only two other campers on the site and the lovely caretaker always around, it really freely delivered the quiet spot needed. With good wifi it gave chance to catch up with folks at home; that and sort some washing on site, draft some blog, and do a little more insulating and priming of Hermie ready for the cold further South. The only downside, if you could find one, was the constant accompaniment of the unwelcome and blood drawing sand flies!

The first day of overcast skies gave a good temperature of 14C, a 'warm' welcome after recent days. It was with even greater gratitude then that waking to day two to bright sunshine and 18C we felt in for a real treat. We had taken a short walk along a section of coastal path that completes the 3-5 day Abel Tasman trek, camping spots on the beach most nights. With the sun of day two, knowing how colourful the waters should be, we took a much longer hike on the same route. The sea as flat as a lake, waves barely turning over at the shore, both add to the tranquillity here. The hiking route winds through the bush, giving way to an odd lookout and narrow paths to each tiny beach; each opening rewarded by the crystal clear aqua waters, sun shining through and starting to show the ocean's true colours.

Leaving here was sad, despite exciting things to come. While we have come for the snow and the mountains, of any beach place we have visited, this special location has always stuck in our minds as the most beautiful of all.

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