Abel Tasman National Park


The Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most famous areas in New Zealand. It is situated at the coast of the Tasman sea, and consists of lots of small beaches, separated by rocky outcrops. A bit inlands (20 meters or so) the rainforest begins.

Tourists on a boat on a tractor

Preparing the kayaks

There are three main activities here.

  1. Go to one of the beaches (by water taxi or by your own boat) and have a nice day in the sun.

  2. Walk the coastal track, or part of it (transportation to begin and end of your walk by water taxi)

  3. Go kayaking (and that's what we did). 

Getting the hang of it

Kayaks on the beach for a lunch break

A little more wind, a little more waves

With a small group (one guide and 8 guests) we were brought to a beach, where our kayaks were. After a bit of instruction (which we didn't really need, as we did a day course and a lot of practicing back home already) we started out. A real difference with the kayaking we did at home are the waves: you kayak on the sea. The water here is amazingly clear, you can see the bottom which lies several meters deep. You can easily spot fish, like this stingray. 

Stingray

Sailing with a spinnaker

After lunch it was time to return to the beach where the water taxi would pick us up to bring us home again. Instead of kayaking, we formed a sort of spinnaker of our kayaks: we kept them close together, and with the paddles as masts we put a sail up. The wind brought us quite easily back to where we started. 
Pupu Springs

Looking under water, with mirrors

13.000 litres is a lot of water

Close to Takaka, near Abel Tasman NP, you can find a big freshwater spring, Pupu springs.

Enormous quantities of water, 13,000 liters every second, come out of the ground into a lake. A big mirror is constructed to look under water, although from the platform the view is almost the same. For the Maori it is a holy place, and for us it was also a place to become quiet.