After a couple of days in Christchurch we headed north to begin our three day guided walk of the Abel Tasman National Park, approximately 36kms walking in total.
We had a couple of overnight stops on the way, and a few short stops to visit places of interest. Paul walked down to capture this next photo – I was busy trying to fend off a very friendly bee. Note to myself – don’t wear blue when visiting NZ, the bees think you’re a flower, or so I’m told.
Then onto our pick up point in Motueka where we sorted our luggage ready to begin our three day hike. There’s a tidal crossing towards the end between the Awaroa lodge and Totaranui, and the tides weren’t going to be favourable for us at this crossing if we were walking the track from start to finish, or from finish to start. Instead we started somewhere around the middle. A boat trip took us to our starting point approximately a 7km walk from Awaroa lodge, our first nights accommodation.
A bit of a beach trek and we arrived our first nights accommodation and were allocated our rooms. We were ever so surprised to discover ours was the room at the top left – only the best room in the place. How lucky were we!
We had been told we could do as little or as much of the walk as wanted. Paul’s a lot more capable than me, so he managed the full hike. I only did around 1/3 of it in total.
I chose only to do the first part of our 2nd days walk, approximately 7km. The tide still wasn’t right for us to walk across the crossing, but fortunately the water was deep enough for us to be transported across by barge to begin day twos walk – around 17kms for those completing the whole walk.
Despite being told we could walk it at our own pace, the pace needed to meet the boat at Totaranui was considerably faster than my natural bush walking pace. I was to stressed at trying to keep up that I found it hard to enjoy any of the sections I did complete. I’ve never enjoyed walking with experienced bush walkers and this walk has only re-enforced my desire not to share a bush walk of any length with anyone other Paul. Paul understands my limitations and, although he’s able to walk considerably faster than me, he also doesn’t mind matching his speed with mine. We both manage to enjoy walking together without pressure, and without stress when on our own.
With a lot of prompting to speed up the pace from our guide we did manage to meet the boat at Totaranui, with more than a few minutes to spare. Phew! (didn’t enjoy that much). The boat then dropped me at our second nights lodgings, and continued on with the rest of the walkers to the previous days’s starting point for commencement of the walk in the opposite direction.
Even if I couldn’t stop and relax to appreciate the views, the walk as seen through Paul’s camera lens did offer some pretty sights.
Arriving at our lodge around 5 hours before the rest of the party allowed me to enjoy the solitude, and wonder at our room allocation. Yes, again the best room in the house. Apparently we were the first ones to book, and the rooms are allocated on a first in, first served basis.
A coach met us to take us back to the office in Motueka where my brother and sister-in-law met us to take us back to our digs. The walk is labelled as one of New Zealand great walks. The track is well maintained, winding through shady forest landscape and overlooking gorgeous turquoise bays. For experienced bushwalkers I’m sure it’d be a pleasure. For me, well I enjoyed the accommodation, and apart from that all I can say is – seeing that coach at the end – what a pleasure that was!