We first stopped at the iSite in the closest town, Motueka, to get some information on a day walk in Abel Tasman National Park and where we booked a water taxi to do the walk the next day. We parked overnight at W F Moss Scenic Reserve, around 10km from the town. It was only lunch time when we got there and the weather was lovely so we sat out in our chairs and relaxed. The site was on a field in the middle of forest, next to a stream, with an awful smelling long drop toilet. There were volunteers there at first planting and maintains trees for the DOC. We both had a good drink later on, in particular me, as always! It was a really good night though. 2 more camper vans parked up later on.
On the 19th we both felt okay in the morning to say how much we had drunk! Must be New Zealand's fresh air that sorts us out! We drove to a town, Marahau, about 10km from Motueka, right next to the national park where we got our water taxi at 10.30am with Abel Tasman Water Taxi. The water taxi was like a trip itself. It cost $35 each but it brought us down to Kaiteriteri, where there was a lovely beach, we stopped at split apple rock (a rock split in half shaped like an apple) and then we stopped next to Adele Island to see the fur seals and their 12 week old babies from the seal colony. The driver told us that low and high tide has difference of 5m so where we just boated on water to split apple rock, later in the day you could practically walk all the way out to it. We saw the change in the tide as the day went on and it was crazy! The amount of beach that just kept appearing! At the beginning of the day everything was sea, but by the end the tide was low and there were massive massive beaches. Boats were just sat on the beach that was water earlier.
Abel Tasman is New Zealand's smallest but only coastline national park. We did a fantastic walk there. We got the water taxi to Anchorage which was one of the most beautiful beaches we had ever seen! We did a side track loop walk to Pit Head which took an hour before having lunch back on the beach. I had a paddle in the sea but it was freezing! We then started the 12.4km walk back to the end of the National Park at Marahau where we had parked the van. The track was mainly through bush but every so often you could go off down to one of the many bays or you could get fantastic views high up of the national park. The park had some of the most beautiful beaches, golden sandy beaches with clear waters. It reminded us of Thailand. Most of the beaches were empty too so it made it even better. The national park is only accessible by foot as we did it, or by sea. A lot of people kayak the coastline or walk the full great walk track, both which take 3-5 days. We did our walk in 2 hours 50m and it is suppose to take 4 hours, so not bad!
After we got back to the van we drove back to Motueka and stayed overnight at Motueka Beach Reserve, which was a popular free site. There were toilets there and views out to the water and mountains. There was also a saltwater pool, which was free like everything else in New Zealand! They really do have it right here and want people to enjoy as much of the country and the outdoors as they can. It's such a shame we don't have the same view at home!
On the 20th we did our laundry in the town and then headed off for our next stop- Nelson Lakes National Park. There are 14 national parks in New Zealand and South Island has 10 of them!