What a sweet day, well worth the money and how tired I am tonight I can barely keep my eyes open!
We started with an early pickup at seven thirty to head down to the sea kayak company base in Motueka where the trailer was loaded up with kayaks and we were off to Marahau to catch the water taxi. It's very strange getting on a boat on the road then being towed by a tractor into the water! The water taxi was taking us up to Onetahuti Beach where we would start our adventure. We had been joined by three testorsterone filled Americans who powered across to Tonga Island where me and Olof kept our laid back pace paddling out. Tonga Island is a breeding area for seals so we saw many mothers with their pups catching what little sun there was on the rocks. We had both thought the water would be pretty flat but there was quite a lot of waves which are from what we've heard a little out of the ordinary.,Out from the creek and further along the coast, two hours after starting our kayaking we came into Bark Bay where we would have lunch and also leave the water behind for the afternoon of walking. Luckily the sun had started to break through and the temperature was rising as we tucked into our provided chicken and camenbear cheese rolls (odd combination I know but very good/,,From Tonga Island we headed across the bay to the mainland taking in the pretty picturesque coastline in the Abel Tasman but the weather wasnt on our side and it started to pour of rain, just our luck! So the jackets got pulled on quickly! As it was high tide we could head up a little creek which was lovely and we both prefer river to sea kayaking it is just so much more peaceful. Here we got our eighteen year old guide to have a small tantrum, the creek was narrow and we pulled into a tricky spot in the trees (to shelter us from the rain!) and he cockily said "we'll let you guys go first" so off we went and we got ourselves free pretty easily maybe it was a little dent to his ego or maybe it was me calling "suckers" but they didnt follow us straight away and when they did they just paddled past not saying a word!
Out from the creek and further along the coast, two hours after starting our kayaking we came into Bark Bay where we would have lunch and also leave the water behind for the afternoon of walking. Luckily the sun had started to break through and the temperature was rising as we tucked into our packed lunch of chicken and camenbert cheese rolls (odd combination I know) but very good and carrot cake with a cup of tea!
For our walk we were picking up the Abel Tasman coastal track which is one of the Great Walks of New Zealand, it is 54km from start to finish and takes around four days to complete there are "Department for Conservation" camp grounds and shelters along the way to spend the night and we now wish we had the time and equipment with us to have done the whole walk but it is just another excuse for a holiday here in the future! The main track was a relatively easy walk taking you high up to overlook the bays. As we had quite a lot of time we were taking the side walks, one down to Sandfly Bay, this involved some climbing down the rocks (still easier down than up!) which was fun and on one of the points we could see through the forest down to a sand spit where we saw what looked like a penquin, that was all the encouragement we needed to keep going! Finally mud turned to sand and we down at sea level but with it being high tide the channel across to the beach was high and we were stuck on the rocks. It was time for some extreme wave running to get to the next set of rocks in between the waves! Olof went first and when he said he thought it was a penquin I had to go for it as well! We have a picture of said penquin and it is up but you'll never spot it, it looks so tiny but zoomed in you can clearly see it is a penquin so we felt pretty lucky! Now it was time to get back to the walk, cue me running like a mad woman and lunging myself up the rocks before the wave came in! Honestly you'll see us on the next season of "Beach Rescue!"
The rest of the walk was more sedate and we commented on how different all our walks have been from alpine to coastal. We were being picked up at Torrent Bay by the water taxi and coming around the headland we could see into the bay, it is also one of the places in the national park with private property and houses. We weren't jealous, much! As we had some time to spare we took a walk along the beach wishing it was a little warmer so we could go in!
As the water taxi arrived and the waves were pretty big still we needed to walk quite far out to meet the boat. Not a problem, the water wasnt deep only up to just above the ankles. Well one minute it was for me the next as I stepped forward I was in up to my waist! In my confusion as to why I was the only one in this deep I didnt stop walking and the other foot went down into the hole as well, Olof found it absolutely hilariously obviously! Soaked but onboard the boat we headed against the waves back to the town seeing some dolphins playing in the distance. A perfect end to the day and left us saying "why didnt we spend more time here?!"