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
|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