Of the 9 Great Walks in New Zealand, I wanted to do Abel Tasman the most. A fabulous trail, the sea, lush forests, golden beaches…it seemed like paradise. And so we made it happen after our West Coast “vacation”.
We booked a cruise boat to take us up to Tonga Quarry for a few hours of sea kayaking, then we’d run 10 km to Anchorage where the boat would pick us up at the end of the day and take us back to Kaiteriteri. The perfect plan. And if we ran fast enough, we would be able to cut across the beach before the tide came in. Challenge accepted.
I’m still very much working on my kayaking skills, but we were still the fastest boat in the group. Besides Tim, our guide of course. So we had lots of relaxing time in the boat to just enjoyed the waves, the views, and the wildlife. We saw seals, little blue penguins (including the cutest baby one), diving birds, and this guy:
We also saw a dead seal pup being eaten by a seagull, but that wasn’t really photo-worthy. So we took a selfie instead!
At one point, Tim remembered a lagoon we could access at high tide…if we hurried. So we paddled like mad to catch it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t leave anyone behind and well, not everyone made it. So we missed our lagoon adventure. So it goes.
We finished our 4+ mile kayak, downed a sandwich, and set off on our run.
Although the goal was to get across the beach during low tide to save time, we ended up staying on the trail anyways. It was so pretty in the trees, we couldn’t be bothered traipsing across the sand and mud.
We finished the run at Anchorage and caught our cruise ship back to Kaiteriteri. I *accidentally* fell asleep on the boat. Whoops!
After our day’s adventure we drove a few hours west and camped by the Old Ghost Road for the night. (Note: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)