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Re: New Zealand: Abel Tasman Coast Track

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avatar New Zealand: Abel Tasman Coast Track
February 27, 2017 06:38PM
I spent a little over two weeks in New Zealand this February on the northern part of the South Island, hiking, and then tasting wine. This is my first backpack.

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is probably the most "civilized" of New Zealand's "Great Walks", partly because it has a couple spots where it's intersected by a road, and partly because it's along a pretty section of coast where water taxi services are available. Wanting to avoid road intersections...I took a water taxi to Onetahuti Beach, then spent three days hiking south to the trail's end (and my water taxi's parking lot) in Marahau.

New Zealand has an extensive hut system for hikers (or, as they say, "trampers" ) . This works well there, because the summertime weather is extremely changeable, particularly on the South Island which is exposed to the full force of the southern hemisphere's Roaring Forties. Abel Tasman, though, is noted for it's particularly mild climate.

In general New Zealand's huts are "first come/first served". There are exceptions, one is the "Great Walks" - I had to reserve these, and two years ago I had to reserve the huts for the Milford, Kepler, and Routeburn tracks. Another is...certain huts have become extremely popular, perhaps due to foreign press (more on this in another post), and therefore they're also reserved.

Anyway, some pictures.

Nice beach, viewed from the water taxi. The bedrock here is somewhat weak granite, yielding plenty of golden sand beaches.

At Onetahuti Beach I saw Black Oystercatchers, which I had seen on a previous trip to NZ, and before that...only in Alaska.

The views along this well-built and maintained trail are quite nice, here is Tonga Island and the coast:

This is a view across Tasman Bay towards the mountains and islands which make up Queen Charlotte Sound. Unlike most of New Zealand where seismicity is yielding rising land, the Queen Charlotte Sound area is a mountain range that's sinking into the ocean, with the complex shorelines one would expect from such an occurrence.

Walking towards Cascade Falls:

Cascade Falls:

The Anchorage and Torrent Bay:

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2017 06:39PM by ttilley.
Re: New Zealand: Abel Tasman Coast Track
February 27, 2017 09:01PM
Beautiful photos, Tilley. I've done some trout fishing in NZ when I was traveling there for work, but never had the time to do one of these walks. Looks like you had a wonderful adventure--and for NZ, the weather looks like it more or less cooperated for you!


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avatar Re: New Zealand: Abel Tasman Coast Track
February 28, 2017 09:12AM
Very jealous! The wife and I just got back from an abbreviated trip to New Zealand...she had bronchitis for 6 days on the north island, and we came home instead of heading to the South Island for 2 weeks of hiking. Major bummer, but a good thing. Turns out she had pneumonia!

Looking forward to getting back there at some time!
Re: New Zealand: Abel Tasman Coast Track
March 07, 2017 12:44AM
Beautiful trip! Thanks for sharing!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2017 12:45AM by KevinD.
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