Kayaking the Abel Tasman

Published: February 12th 2011
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Finally, it’s here. This is a trip we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. We booked our campsites months ago while we were still in China dreaming about New Zealand’s great outdoors. Having heard mixed reviews from other travellers about the tramping track, we decided to stick to the water/beaches and kayak it. We previously spent 5 days kayaking on the west coast of British Colombia and figured that would be just about the right amount of time. There are numerous kayak tour operators that offer guided trips out of Marahau and the surrounding area near the beginning of the park, but we instead went for a “freedom” hire which allowed us to go at our own pace.

Kayaking comes with several benefits over tramping. First, space and weight are non-issues meaning that you can bring as much wine as your kayak can carry as well as other heavy food stuff that you can’t put in your backpack. Second, when it’s hot outside the water is never far away to cool off and there’s always that nice ocean breeze. Lastly you can get to some amazing secluded beaches that aren’t accessible by land. The main drawback is that if those ocean breezes get too strong in the wrong direction it can be a tough day paddling (but you’ve always got that wine at the end of a hard day’s work).

We had an awesome time and for the most part the weather cooperated. Still, 5 days were enough and by the end we were happy to have a nice hot shower and get out of our kayak clothes which were caked in salt.

Additional photos below
Photos: 25, Displayed: 23


Large tidesLarge tides
Large tides

The portage at Mosquito Bay was a bit of a challenge...
Dinner timeDinner time
Dinner time

Still working on our creativity...
Te Puketea Bay from aboveTe Puketea Bay from above
Te Puketea Bay from above

Our last campsite.

13th February 2011
Frenchman's cove

Really nice!
It looks so beautiful, I wish I was there!!
13th February 2011

This is an area I've wanted to go to for a long time too!! Your photos are great, and it certainly sounds as though kayaking is worth it as an alternative to walking :-)
14th February 2011

It looks like you guys are having a wonderful time in New Zealand...good for you!
16th February 2011

Some amazing shots here!!
Wow there are some lovely pics here. I never made it to the South island (much to the amusement of everyone in NZ) but these pics make realise I will need to go back there some day!

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