Blogs from Abel Tasman National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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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 ... read more
Abel Tasman NP
Abel Tasman NP
Weka


Strahlender Sonnenschein – Nach einem wirklich längeren Ausschlafen und Herumliegen sind wir entspannt auf dem Weg in den Abel Tasman Nationalpark. Heute lassen wir es langsam und ruhig angehen und finden uns, nachdem wir einen coolen Wander- und Kayakausflug (Marahau Sea Kayaks - Gourmat Platter 170 Dollar p.P.) für morgen gebucht haben, auf dem Campingplatz ein. Nach einem leckeren Barbecue und einer Showeinlage des Enten-Dompteurs hält Bernadette ein Nachmittagsschläfchen und Stefan ein Sonnenbad. Der Abend klingt gemütlich aus und wir freuen uns schon auf die morgigen Abenteuer! WoW – was für ein Morgen, was für ein Tag!! Zeitig in der Früh startet dieser Tag und wir checken gut bei der KayakTour ein und nach einer kurzen Einweisung und der Übergabe der Lunchpakete geht es auf dem Wassertaxi gezogen von einem Traktor bereits los – denn so ... read more
Apple Rock
Campingplatz bei Marahau - The Barn
Yeah endlich Essen!


* QUICK RECAP * Drove to Cobb Dam, saw Kiwi, stopped at the top and it was blowing a gale! After a decent tramp around, I decided (in a middle aged British way) to pass on kayaking in a freezing reservoir and head for sunnier, warmer temperatures and the beauty of Abel Tasman National Park. Situated on the Northwest peninsula of South Island, Abel Tasman has always struck me as being particularly warm in both climate and hospitality. I was not disappointed. Having bucketed it down the previous night at Motueka, I knew that my Fox Wings were wet so I decided to stop off at a sunny spot to allow them to dry a bit. As I wended my way through corridors of vineyards and hops, I spotted a particularly sunny overlook of one of ... read more
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Hey you guys So this one has been 11 weeks in the 'waiting for' and about 6 years in the 'longing for' box. My trip to South Island New Zeland with the ever faithful Katie as my steed! Before leaving Hunua, I kitted her out with the awesome 'Rhino Rack' roofing system, a 440 litre top box, the 'Fox Wing' awning and J clamps for the Viking Espri kayak that I borrowed from a friend. We left Hunua at 9am Saturday 30th Sept morning and took the leisurely 620km journey to Wellington in order to catch the early Interislander ferry to Picton. I've not blogged the pics from the drive as there are many better images easily available on You Tube. I stayed the night at a motel in Lower Hutt city with the intention of ... read more
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Nous embarquons au ferry vers 7h30. C'était le grand confort (cafétéria, internet, salle de cinéma...) mise à part qu'il faisait quand même froid à l'intérieur mais vu le temps qu'il faisait à l'extérieur, rien d'étonnant: vent et pluie battante! On est épuisé et nous tenons grâce à nos boissons chaudes et à l'entrain que nous avons pour enfin découvrir l'île sud. Le ferry nous dépose à Picton et nous nous y arrêtons pour faire des petites courses puis direction Nelson pour passer la nuit. Et oui, nous voyageons au gré des parkings gratuits. La route est belle et safe malgré une pluie acharnée qui a quand même eu pour bénéfice de laver notre Vanille!!! Oui ça y est, on a trouvé une prénom pour notre van :) 2h00 plus tard nous voilà à Nelson. Le lendemain ... read more
Picton
Picton
Picton


Hoewel Wellington op een mooie dag een hele mooie stad lijkt te zijn, miezert het vandaag en hangen de wolken tegen de heuvels aan. Alvorens de ferry te nemen, gaan we nog naar het nationale museum van Nieuw-Zeeland, Te Papa. Dit museum telt vijf verdiepingen en je kan er op een interactieve manier veel over het land te weten komen. We gaan eerst naar de exposities over het ontstaan van het land, hierbij moet je denken aan de werking van de continentale platen (Nieuw-Zeeland ligt er op twee) en het effect door de miljoenen jaren heen op de vorming van het land. Hiermee samenhangend zijn de vele aardbevingen en vulkaanuitbarstingen die het land te verduren krijgt. Er is zelfs een huisje waar je een aardbeving ervaart. Ook passeren vele dier -en plantensoorten de revue. Op een ... read more
Te Papa museum
Traditioneel Maori huis
Een grijs Wellington


So yesterday was definitely grey and drizzly, ok, it rained heavily too, which meant we abandoned the plan to cycle. Instead we headed off in the car to Rabbit Island and had an amazing walk on a near-deserted beach. Guess most people were sensibly indoors! On the way back we decided to have a very late lunch of cheese and wine-tasting at Waimea's Cellar Door. Given the weather, the day couldn't have turned out better. This morning had a definite promise of some blue sky and we set off to Abel Tasman National Park for a cruise to Medlands Beach and a 10km walk through the most beautiful tree ferns and Manuka forest accompanied by birdsong. Just time for a quick swim at Anchorage Bay where three stingrays put in an appearance, before boarding the boat ... read more
Walking in Abel Tasman NP
Lunch overlooking Torrent Beach in Abel Tasman NP


Heading to Christchurch, the flat land is an agricultural mecca and also has huge warehouses for exporting wool. The highway is packed with large trucks due to the northern road closures from earthquake damage. Humungous boulders, who can resist? These giant spheres are scattered along the coastline at Oamaru. Historians say that dinosaur bones have been found within these rock formations. The downtown reveals severe destruction and rebuilding called ReSTART. Make-shift stores are creatively housed in shipping containers and makes this the largest container use in the world. Away from the flat land and back to mountains, tree tunnels and unending road construction. The only half way spot to spend the evening is teeny Murchison that has a population of 496. Surprisingly, our hotel room is OK. We walk the town (took only a few minutes) ... read more
Avon River Christchurch
The Earthquake really kicked this country!
War Memorial Bridge


Leaving Mount Richmond Estates, the road passes deer farms, as venison is a common item on the menu. What happens in a rainforest.... it rains.... a lot. The thick dense forest smells marellously earthy. Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki reveal outstanding limestone formations that look like stacks of pancakes created 35 million years ago. This is a tourist haven filled with buses and campers. Greymouth provides rest for the evening. This is a small mining town with several lovely historical homes. NZ is a country full of one lane bridges. Some are still used for rail, as well as cars. On down the highway, the passage changes constantly from different rainforests to flat plains adjacent to the sea. Getting close to Franz Josef, the rivers are a beautiful aquamarine color due to the melting of the glaciers. ... read more
Rai Valley - Abel Tasman Cabins
Pancake Rocks
Scaling the rocks


Arriving on the South Island (Te Waipounamu) on the Bluebridge inter-island ferry, we were greeted by the same leaden grey skies that had bid us farewell from the North Island (Te Ika-a-Maui) in Wellington a few hours earlier; though admittedly the last hour of the cruise did reveal some picture postcard scenery as we made our way through the inner reaches of Queen Charlotte Sound. Disembarking the ferry in Picton, we then had to tackle the incredibly windey Queen Charlotte Drive (with around 180 bends in just over 15km of road) before arriving at our overnight stop at the wonderful Smith's Farm Holiday Park, where if the warm banana and chocolate-chip muffins on arrival weren't enough to win us over, the chance to feed the resident goats and sheep certainly sealed the deal! The next day ... read more
Harbour Views
Beachcombing Bliss
Secluded Campsite




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