Serenity in Abel Tasman National park

Published: October 26th 2010
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We woke up and after a fairly cold night’s sleep, were greeted with clear blue skies and the forecast for the day ahead seemed good. After making breakfast (Scott’s just discovered that Vics does a mean scrambled eggs, so that will become a weekend staple when we get home). After breakfast and catching up with online bits again it was around 11am and although the reception staff at the hostel said we had missed the morning boats that take you around the various islands and beaches in Abel Tasman, we still decided to drive there and see what it was like as it was only about 10 minutes from the hostel.
The main attractions in AT are its pristine white sand beaches and hidden coves, aswell as the huge national park, which are only accessible by boat or walking for a few hours (most people get a boat out to the bays then take a few hours to walk back or vice versa), and also its various walks from 1 hour -5 hours + around the park and forest surrounding it. We got there and there was an afternoon boat at 1pm, but if we got that we would have to make the 4 hour walk back which we didn’t fancy! We found out there was a famous rock nearby called ‘split apple rock’ as with the erosion to it over the years, this large round rock had split in half and resembled an apple, so as there was quite a breeze and we didn’t think it was hot enough to sit on the beach we had parked by, we drove to the rock to see it.
We drove up and round the mountains then down again to get near it, then discovered the only way to see it properly was to walk to it through a 20 minute forest track.
We took our lunch and gas cooker (we must have looked a right sight carrying a gas cooker through the forest wearing flip flops and shorts) with us as we thought it would lead to the edge of a mountain and we could set up there for lunch, but in fact it led out to a secluded beach on which we were the only ones! It was amazingly peaceful and so, so beautiful, and the wind had dropped by then so we were able to have lunch on our own

Scott wouldn't let me publish the front facing one's but it can be sent private email if you wish to request directly lol
private beach and catch some sun at the same time! We ate our lunch of pasta and sauce (while chasing the sea gulls away), chilled out for an hour or so and took some photos of the beach and split apple rock (Scott finally got his naked photo- as you will see!) before packing up and making the 20 minute trek back (uphill) to the van. We could have sat there all day had we had our swim stuff and towels; it was like a hidden cove and like something you would expect in Asia, not NZ. This country just keeps on surprising us!

We made the drive back to the hostel via a small beach town called Kaiteriteri which was deserted (apparently in high summer and at Xmas time it is packed)but it was so pretty again we stopped and had an ice cream sitting on the beach! We then carried on back to the hostel and decided to relax for a while there and use their hot tub in the garden for a couple of hours, which was lovely as we haven’t had much time on this trip to do nothing, before cooking up a Mexican feast for dinner of nachos with melted cheese and salsa, and chilli con carne with rice, mmm! The hostel was quieter this night so we had the tv and dvd player to ourselves which was nice, so we watched 2 films (Dark Knight and Sexy Beast- both Scott’s choices) before heading to sleep in the van after another amazing day in NZ.

The next morning was sunny again and was going to be hotter than the day before, so we were up early as Scott wanted to do some sea fishing at the nearby port - using a better rod and some proper bait, and Vic was happy to sit in the sun in the garden. When Scott got back from fishing (after catching nothing, again!) we got ready and even though it was a lovely day and we could easily of gone to the beaches around AT again, we knew we had a long 5-7 hour drive ahead of us to Franz Josef (FJ) and the glaciers, so decided to make a start as there were a few places we wanted to stop off at on the way. Franz Josef is the name of the glacier (huge ice mountain) we had chosen to climb the next morning- there is also a smaller one called Fox but we chose FJ as it was closer to where we were coming from and had a bigger town. . . .

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26th October 2010

New Zealand - Yes!
Well guys, you have certainly sold NZ to me! Also, I fully expect an invite over for dinner as it is obvious that you can cook! Waiting for next NZ installment. Love you, Susan xxxxx
26th October 2010

Everytime I read your blogs I am stuck for words. Life for the two of you will be so different of such experiences, not forgetting you have loads more to come. What stories you will have to tell the kids........Love and miss you both loads. A A and U S xxxx
5th November 2010

WOW!!!!!!!! And i'm not talking about the lovely pic of Scott's backside ;) Stunning guys! Wish i was there xx

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