6 March 2011
From Kaiteriteri via Cruise
and Walk in the Abel Tasman
National Park to Murchison
6 March 2011
From Kaiteriteri via Cruise & Walk
in the Abel Tasman National Park to Murchison
Got awake at the Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp, which is a very populaire Holiday Park because there are many New Zealanders that have here a seasonal pitch and who are still around on the sundaymorning.
We collect the things we need for this day and then drive the campervan out of the Holiday Park to a free Parkingplace, near the booking office (Office .. haha) it is more boxes. We make a booking with the Sea Shuttle compagny, we pay and are able to leave at 08:45 uur am with the first sailing from Kaiteriteri to Torrent Bay in the Abel Tasman National Park. The advantage of leaving early is also an early return, so more time to travel to the next destination and less people on the track, so more the feeling it's your own park.
The Sea Shuttle leaves the golden beach of Kaiteriteri with only 7 passengers aboard. Shortly after we left we're are seeing Split Apple Rock in the distance. This rock has the shape of an apple that was struck in 2 equal parts, through weather or by lightning. I don't know. The locals think it was the lightning. But it's perfectly split in two. Everybody aboard takes his pictures.
Then the catamaran heads again for the Abel Tasman National Park that starts about 1 kilometer after Split Apple Rock at Marahau where Jaap and Sonja stayed in 2003 at Old MacDonalds Farm. It's a sunny day, a bit cold when we enter our drop-off bay.
Torrent Bay is the spot where we, with one other guy, are put ashore. The last thing we did was telling the crew at what time we wanted to be picked up from Bark Bay. we are going to walk a short part of the official Coastal Track of the Able Tasman Park that normally takes 4 days and 3 nights. In the preparation of the 2003 trip I read in several publications that the part we're running today is one of the best parts. Via the foldout ramp we leave the catamaran and make our first steps on the beach. The Sea Shuttle immidiately for the next bay. The compagny sails with two Sea Shuttles continiously between all the bays in the park. You can choose your own drop-off and pick-up bay with their time-shedule at hand.
As soon as we set foot ashore we enjoy the peace and nature of this part of the park. At the northside of Torrent Bay is a sign that leads us uphill for a steep climb. When we arrive at the top you have a gorgious view over Torrent Bay. This day the sun is from the right angle and it is flood so the ocean touches the beach. We take a seat on the bench and load this view in our memory. After a few minutes we continua our walk. The trail winds along the hills and we have lots of climbing and descending.. Every few minutes we stop and let our eyes go over all the views that are presented here. The track is quite narrow and is always against a mountain, thus on the one hand, the wall up and on the other hand, the deep down.
Frequently we come against oncoming traffic and then we often search for a part of the track that is a bit wider otherwise you can barely pass each other. We notify that most of the people we met on the track are walking quickly and don't make stops or take the time to enjoy all those perfect views on this track. At a certain moment we are sitting on a bench with a more than perfect view over a bay with canoeists. When we are enjoying this view about 5 groups with 2 to 4 persons walk by without even delaying theis steps. It is something we really don't understand. On the track Karin drinks by one of the many wooden bridges the fresh clear water that is flowing there. There is nothing wrong with the water and it appears clean and drinkable.
About halfway our walk we arrive at Falls River. Here they made a Swingbridge that we have to cross. On a sign there is a notification that only 5 people at one time are allowed on the bridge. It swings and it peeps, wonderful. It's Karin's first swingbridge, an experience. We walk on and make a short stop in Medlands Beach, a small beach with toilet. The back to the track for the last part to Bark Bay. It is a great part with wonderful views over Bark Bay with it's clear turquoise water. We arrive at Bark Bay and we're having our lunch. At about 13.30 pm the Sea Shuttle is entering the bay and the catamaran bring us back to Kaiteriteri in half an hour. As usual we first make a cup of coffee int the campervan before leaving Kaiteriteri. We take the scenic route via the Motueka Valley Highway to Murchison. A few kilometers before Murchison we're having a stopover at Hope Saddle, a viewpoint at 467 meters with a perfect view over the scenic landscape. Karin experience it again as more than breathtaking and thoroughly enjoy the serenity of this place. The we drove on to our Holiday park for the Night in Murchison where Karin made our first meal in the campervan. We published some pictures at the internet, talked with the family in the Netherlands and went to bed, tired but satisfied.