Sea kayaking Abel Tasman

Day 0:

On Sunday afternoon I set off from Christchurch towards Marahau. I drove into the evening until the road was empty of traffic and made it all the way to the Motueka valley where I camped the night.

Day 1:

I met Katie at the turn off to Marahau in the morning and we drove over the hill and got ourselves sorted out with a kayak. There was a bit of high cloud as we set off but it looking like it would clear and otherwise the weather was good. We headed into the park towards Watering Cove. Our campsite booking said we should stay the night there but as we had only paddled for less than 1.5 hours we decided to rebook the camp site in Onetahuti near Awaroa.

The conditions were good. It was now quite sunny with a small northerly head wind. We made good progress along the green coastline and it wasn’t too long before we got to Mosquito Bay for a break. The whole park seemed very small.

I set the gas cooker up on the sand and we drank a civilized cup of tea and went for a splash in the water.

Then it was on around the coast a bit further past Tonga Quarry to Onetahuti.

Happy Katie kayaking (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above: Katie and I set off for three days of sea kayaking in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. The weather was good and the sea was flat.

Day 2:

I went for a walk around the track a bit, back towards Bark Bay while Katie snoozed. After lunch we headed off in the kayak for a quick nosey into Shag Harbour.

We then headed back to another little deserted beach and made another cup of tea. Basically this trip was all about drinking cups of tea in the sun.

Then it was back to Bark Bay where we got some filtered water before heading to Mosquito Bay for the evening.

Cris and Katie in shag harbour (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)Kayaking (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above left: We headed up to shag harbour in the afternoon and caught it while the tide was in. Above right: We had rented a large tub of a kayak from Abel Tasman Kayaks. It was slow and heavy but allowed us to take far too much food, which suited us well.

Arriving at the beach (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)Mosquito Bay at night (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above left: The kayak was so heavy we had to enlist the help of a couple of tourists to pull the boat up above the high tide mark at Mosquito Bay. Above right: We stayed one night at Mosquito Bay. It was clear and the sky was filled with stars.

Mosquito Bay (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)Mosquito Bay in the morning (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above left: Mosquito Bay can only be reached by water so doesn’t have the hordes from the Abel Tasman track. Above right: We left Mosquito Bay on the third day and kayaked along the coast back to Marahau.

Kayak on the beach (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)
Above: The Abel Tasman is full of golden sand beaches and considering how beautiful it is, it’s surprisingly empty.

Day 3:

We cruised slowly back along the coast stopping in at Sandfly bay and kayaking up the river behind the large sand bar. We stopped in at Frenchman’s bay too and then at Te Pukatea for lunch.

After reaching Marahau we drove to Nelson Lakes and camped the night there.

Ferns (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above: The bush on the Abel Tasman track is lush and full of bird song.

View Larger Topographic Map

Above: All going well, a map of the Abel Tasman. If I get around to it I’ll plot our course on it… Don’t hold your breath.

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