We were up and out the door at 6:45 this morning. We caught the bus for an hour ride from Nelson to Marahau to meet our water taxi and enter Abel Tasman National Park. We boarded the water taxi and then since the tide was out, it was pulled down the beach by a tractor to the water line. We cruised along the coastline to see the famous Split Apple Rock then out to Adele island to see the seals.

Water taxi launch

Split Apple Rock

Seals on Adele Island

The bays and beaches along this section of coastline are beautiful. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy and rainy day so the pictures do not do justice to the gorgeous blue waters and light colored sand beaches. The water taxi dropped us off at Torrent Bay for the beginning of our 5-mile hike to Bark Bay. The hike started with a steep ascent up the mountain giving great views of the bay and hidden coves. It rained quite a bit, but that was kind of nice (definitely preferable to hot and humid while hiking).

We crossed Falls River via a hanging suspension bridge. It was pretty damn high, and I didn’t take any pictures while I was on it because I just wanted to get across. I made Shawn go back and do it again, just so I could take a picture of him.

The trail markers indicated it would take 2 hours and 10 minutes to walk the trail, and that is exactly how long it took us. (Note: New Zealand hikes are timed for women who are 50+ and not in shape; your time may vary.) We had our sack lunch on the beach at Bark Bay, then we decided to walk to a waterfall. We walked across a large sandy lagoon that is walkable in low tide but not high tide. There is an island in the middle that is only an island during high tide. Trekking through some rather squishy bits, the sole was sucked right off one of my Keen sandals. I bought them for our Panama trip 10 years ago, so I guess they have given me all they could but they will be sadly missed.

Below the waterfall was a smaller, non-intimidating hanging bridge.

Back at the beach, it began raining again and we had over 2 hours to wait for our water taxi. It gave me a tiny feeling of what it would be like to play Survivor sitting in the rain and bored. It rained the rest of the day including the water taxi and bus ride back. We were pretty happy to get back to our hotel to shower off all the sunscreen and bug repellent. A long strenuous day, but who knows if we will ever be back, so we had to go out and see the sights. Stayed in for dinner: cheese, crackers, and bottle of New Zealand late harvest wine. Time for bed…

Daily ratings:
Abel Tasman Park – 4.5 Kiwis

Steps taken = 18,744