We saw Abel Tasman National Park from the water today on a 6-hour boat cruise with AB Charters. It was a 20 minute drive into the neighbouring town of Kaiteriteri and about another 10 to find parking at the end of Stephens Bay Road! ‘Kaiteri’ was hosting a Waka Race (in Maori canoes) and the whole coastline was busy this morning!
After boarding our catamaran and meeting our crew, Emma and Kim, the first thing we did was pick up another couple around the headland at Split Apple Beach, so we got to see the rock up close. The tide was lower today, so we could see the base rocks that the ‘Apple’ sits on. Kim called it the second-most photographed rock in the southern hemisphere (the kiwis don’t like to give kudos to the Australians if they can help it but we have to admit that Uluru/Ayer’s Rock is a pretty popular place!).
We cruised up Tasman Bay past the coastal trail that we tackled a few days ago (Kris still has a blister on her foot as a souvenir!). The crew anchored us off Adele Island (one of the two big islands close to the park) to listen to the birdsong. The island is another place that has been cleared of all predators and the birds (especially the bellbird) have been making a comeback after being listed as endangered.
Along the way, we were attracted by a group of gannets feeding off a fish ball and made our way over to watch. We were surprised by a small pod of dolphins who wanted lunch as well.
Between Anchorage and Torrent Bay, we got off the boat to hike the Pitt Head Loop.
It must be time to return home, as we are running out of sunscreen, shampoo, Chapstick…. Sadly tomorrow we pack up and head to Nelson to start the flights home. On a positive note, we get back some of the time we lost getting here – we land in Vancouver 8 hours before we take off from Auckland. Gotta love time zones!