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The Abel Tasman National Park with Kaiteriteri Kayak PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 December 2006
Today we are embarking ourselves on an exciting "Two day Kayak and Walk" adventure with Kaiteriteri Kayak in the Abel Tasman National Park, about an hour-drive from Nelson (South Island).

1st Day

Early in the morning, the Kaiteriteri Kayak bus shuttle comes to pick us up from our accommodation. The bus is filled with dynamic and friendly vibes thanks to the super driver, Harold!

Once on the site, the crew is there to help us work out what to bring to ensure a comfortable night in the Abel Tasman National Park.

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The "2-day walk and kayak" package offered by Kaiteriteri Kayak includes water taxi transfers and gave us the choice between two walks:
  1. The South Walk departing from Te Puketea, Anchorage and Torrent Bay to Bark Bay
  2. The North Walk departing from Awaroa or Totaranui (tide permitting)

We decided to go for the North Walk which is known as being more remote and very spectacular. We were soon to find out ourselves!

When getting transferred to our destination by water taxi (included in the package), we get plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular scenary. The water taxi makes several stops along the way and the crew gives us a bit of insight into the park history.

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After a trip of about 45 minutes, the water taxi literally drops us off in the middle of nowhere...The real adventure can begin! Prepare to get your feet wet as dealing with mother nature becomes a constant and tidal crossing part of the adventure...Walking along dirt tracks or by the beach, we come across picturesque landscapes which harmoniously mix with gorgeous beaches and bush clad cliffs.

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You may want to break up your walk in two and stop at Awaroa in a charming restaurant that fits in well with the surroundings.

In total, the walk probably took us about 4.5 hours at a relatively normal pace. The lookouts we got to stop at and the general atmosphere all the way through made this walk a unique moment. Don't miss out!

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By 4pm, we are in Bark Bay where the crew has arranged to transfer all our camping gear and backpacks from Kaiteriteri to where we are going to spend the night. Bark Bay is a lovely beach along the Abel Tasman National Park and has a camping site almost on the beach, equipped with facilities for a good night out in the nature.

2nd day

After a good night of sleep, the crew is up on time at 9:30am to get our stuff and take them back to Kaiteriteri and get us ready for a full day of kayaking. This activity, called the "Royale with Cheese" tour, is part of the 2-day package and may be done separately depending on how much time you have in your hands.

The "Royale With Cheese" is the longest one-way tour of kayaking organised in the Abel Tasman National Park. It goes for approximately 14 km and covers the coastline from Bark Bay down to Kaiteriteri. Paddling with the sea breeze makes the tour an easy and relaxing one.

After some brief but exhaustive instructions, we are set to begin our day of kayaking. Some waterproof bags are provided and allow us to bring our digital cameras on board.

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Our two guides Harold and Brett, both kiwis and true nature lovers, are there to make the trip a real interesting lesson of history with stacks of details about the Maori culture and its roots. As we paddle in the crystal blue water of the ocean, we are taught a couple of Maori songs as well as their meaning and the beliefs behind them. The atmosphere is great and paddling has never seemed so easy. These are just the chips that come with the 'Royal with Cheese'! :-)

The real stuff happens when Harold and Brett take us to a spot where a whole bunch of fur seals are sunbathing. Thanks to the kayak we are able to get really close to them.

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For lunch we have a break at a beach called Te Pukatea Beach. Lunch is included in the 'Royal with Cheese' (duh!) and coffee/hot chocolate and biscuits are also provided. We take the time to rest our yet-to-become-sore shoulders while enjoying the beautiful scenery and good meal on the beach.

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In the afternoon we get to see some more seals before stopping at an absolutely astonishing beach whose name will remain secret (partly because we cannot recall it!). The water is almost too clear to be real and the colours too numerous to seem possible. As summer has just started, the water is still a bit cool yet very refreshing and pleasant after 2 hours of paddling!

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Harold shows us how to play with his 'Putatara', a seashell that has been turned into a traditional Maori instrument.

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Our last stop for the day is at the "Split Apple Rock", a mysterious rock which looks like an apple that has been sliced in two pieces.

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This 2-day walk and kayak package offered by Kaiteriteri Kayaks is the perfect tour for those willing to combine adventure, walking, fun, nature, breathtaking landscapes and of course kayaking! You would be crazy not to fall for this utterly unreal journey in the majestic site of the Abel Tasman National Park...Highly recommended.

Kaiteriteri Kayak
PO Box 309
Motueka
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 527 8383 or
0800 2 KAYAK (NZ only)
Fax: +64 3 527 8382
Email abeltasman@seakayak.co.nz

website: www.seakayak.co.nz

Last Updated ( Sunday, 24 December 2006 )
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