Abel Tasman National Reserve

New Zealand ’17: Day 08 – Abel Tasman National Park (Thu)

Lodging: The Waters Bed and Breakfast
Date During Trip: July 6, 2017

I began the morning by shooting some sunrise photos here at the hotel. These pictures are from just outside the door of our room facing Tasman Bay.

Today we drove up to Abel Tasman National Reserve and took a boat up the coastline into the national park. It’s almost completely undeveloped. The few houses in the park appeared to be on the edge by the water and were grandfathered to the original owners as long as they lived when the vast swath of land was made a national reserve in 1942 on the 300th anniversary of when the islands were mapped.

Abel Tasman National Reserve
Photos of this split rock appear often as the symbol for Abel Tasman National Reserve

We sauntered up the coastline. We stopped to let off some hikers and kayakers. We went further up the coast and then doubled back to a location where we were dropped off for 3 hours to romp the rain forest. It was gorgeous and silent save for their clearing an area of the trail.

We were told that this was low tide and that we had to be back to the pick up point on time. During high tide, significant parts of the low trail we were hiking would be deep under water and impassable. In that event we would have to take a much longer trail, and they would not wait. Okay!

You will notice I include several pictures of Steve. These give a sense of scale to the ferns, that grow so tall as to become trees. Some of them are enormous!

Apparently a number of huts exist for backpackers to overnight. Backpacking seems to be a big thing out here. The huts are really quite nice with bathroom, sleeping, kitchen, and shower facilities. The trail was easy walking in the area we hiked. We saw an old “house” that had been grandfathered in, the owner had died, and the house was going to be placed on a barge and taken to a location to be set up as a museum. To be frank, the house was more like a handmade shanty than a house and was obviously in need of repair. There are no roads at all around here.

We walked up to a waterfall. Steve walked on to a second waterfall. I stopped when the trail began to get too wonky for my feet.

I think that Steve enjoyed this day a good bit more than I did—not that I didn’t enjoy it. I did. But, the gnats were horrible on the beach, biting the hell out of me but leaving Steve alone. I need to start drinking grapefruit juice before going on such adventures. The guide who dropped us off said eating Vegemite will also keep the gnats away. Evil man. 🙂

The boat adventure lasted all day. When we got back to the B&B, we headed out to the Apple Shed again. Apparently there are really only 2 nice restaurants in town that the locals recommend, They are both side by side. However, the Jelly Fish was being remodeled and was closed.


For a synopsis of all of the posts from this 2017 trip to both the North and the South Islands of New Zealand, with links to each post, click here. The posts listed in the OTHER RELATED POSTS HERE @ TT.US (below) may include posts from our 2014 trip.