Abel Tasman

New Zealand

December 3 - 6, 2008

Dave and Jill


This photo seemed symbolic of our first outing on our second trip.

New Zealand has developed 8 long hikes that it labels and promotes as "The Great Walks."  Indeed, developed is the word - these trails are like nothing else in the country.  If walking wasn't mandatory one could drive something large, like a tractor down the trail.  Every couple of hours there are large campgrounds and huts that are more like motels.  People we met on the trails had come to New Zealand to tramp, but had in most cases, never really done any tramping in their own countries.  Good on em' Jill says.  Besides the crowds, the only other downside to these beautiful trails are the fees - NZ$15 to camp per person and NZ$35 for a bunk in a hut.  Naturally we chose to camp.  All sorts of options exist as to how to tackle the track - we chose to walk from one end to the other taking our time over four days.  We would have preferred to kayak, but our budget would only allow hiking.

We found the entire experience improved as we went north.  Crowds were significantly less, the beaches prettier, and at least for us, the weather was better.  The best part was that an acquaintance of Jill's - who we were scheduled to stay with after the trip - volunteered to shuttle our car from one end of the track to the other saving us time and $$. 

Unsettled weather and rainbow looking north along the Abel Tasman coast on the first evening.


Jill looks from about the same spot the following morning.


Interesting granitic rock formations and whitish sandy beaches were typical.


View looking from one end to the other on the second night's beach - Onetahui Bay.


Swingbridges are a favorite New Zealand structure.  Like every other hiker we didn't shy away from the obligatory photo.


I told Jill this would make a lousy, cluttery photo but now that I look at it... it's kind of nice.  Peering out at the sea from the jungly trail.  Photo by Jill


More artistic work by Jill.  You're supposed to notice the reflection in my sunglasses.  And, if you don't think that's cool, check out the cloud coming out of my mouth.  Photo by Jill


The sun comes out on day #3.  Jill was in no hurry.


Dave drying out our wet gear from the previous night's rain.  This campsite, just a spitting distance from the sea, was our most memorable.


Conditions for my typical photography were poor so I just aimed my camera down at the granite moss-covered rocks.


Good morning Jill.  She slept for an extra two hours while I wandered in vain looking for a good sunrise to shoot.




Scenes from paradise along the northern end of the Abel Tasman Coast.

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Sailing on the Golden Bay with John and Melissa.


Marina near their house where their boat is moored.

Take Me Home