One of our big goals for the South Island was to do an overnight hike in the Abel Tasman National Park on the coast track, one of the nine Great Walks in New Zealand. The whole thing spans more than fifty kilometers; we picked out a 20 km segment at the more remote (and therefore less crowded) northernmost end of the track to do over two days. We could talk about how beautiful it was, how much we enjoyed such an in-depth experience of the park, or complain about the number of evil sandfly bites we left the park with, but the journey is better expressed in pictures.
Jonathan the hermit crab sets off down the trail amidst the subtropical bush.
Bluebells like these grew wild all over the Abel Tasman.
The track ran along the coast, occasionally leading along pristine white sand beaches.
This weird, dimpled plant is the native Kowaowao, a.k.a. Hound's Tongue.
A fuzzy, curled fern with the coast in the background.
We camped in a kanuka tree grove just feet away from this beach on Anapai Bay. Here Jonathan stretches as we watch this lavender sunrise the next morning.
Pied Shags were on nearly every beach on the track, and being fairly used to visitors, they stuck around for us to watch them playing in the surf.
Dead silver ferns hang over a wall of the trail's reddish clay.
The introduced California Quail has thrived in the area but isn't considered a pest. We saw quite a few on the second day, including a male quail with a line of about ten babies trailing after him — unfortunately they ran away too quickly for a picture. This one, however, struck a pose on a fern for as long as we were willing to watch.
The final stretch of the hike toward Wainui Bay and the parking lot, which took us up a big hill with some good views of the bay along the way back down.
Tags: Marlborough, NZ, South Island