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We both woke up pretty sore from our crazy long hike yesterday, so we have decided for a low key day today.

We took a quick drive through Kaiteriteri, the neighboring resort town. There are some very big, beautiful homes nestled into the hills above town with some amazing views. From the lookout at the top of town we had a great view of the Tasman Sea and could look across the Cook Strait to the North Island’s southwest mountains.

The Talisman Heights Lookout

Then it was off to Split Apple Beach for a rest – although it was still a steep 600m walk down from the road.

We arrived at high tide, so we had to inch around a few trees and rock outcroppings. We got our feet wet but thankfully our sandals are easy to clean sand off.

The beach is named for the rock that sits about 160 feet from shore. Split Apple Rock looks like an apple that has been neatly sliced in half. According to Maori legend the rock was split when the gods of land and ocean fought over who would get possession of it, as it is both on land and in the ocean. Its Maori name is Tokangawha (burst open rock). It is made of granite and estimated to be about 120 million years old.

Lots of boat tours and kayakers pass by this way

We shared the beach with several sea birds. The Australian Gannet was the most fun to watch as it dove from heights into the water to fish.

We thought his Gannet might have been a Booby. They look similar
Ever present seagulls
Huge manuka trees in bloom at the start of the trail
Full bloom with lots of bees harvesting the pollen.

Between Marahau and Kaiteriteri is a deep mudflat basin. We’ve now seen it at high tide, mid and low. Many boats are tied to floats and just beach themselves as the tides go up and down. Catamarans are particularly well suited for this.

Low tide
Ebb tide
And high tide.

This farm stall is just down the road from us

Which one would you choose??

Tomorrow we are off to see the northern end of Abel Tasman Park

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