Able Tasman

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
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Trip End Mar 03, 2007


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

I stopped back in Motueka amid ever improving weather. I had decided to drive back towards Nelson when I had a sudden turnabout instead getting a few supplies and then heading to Marahau, about 10km from Kaiteriteri where I had stayed a couple of days before. I booked into quite an alternative campsite called 'The Barn' and also booked a space on a campsite at bark bay on the Able Tasman National Park route for the next night, so I could crack onto a two day hike the following morning. 
During that evening I had a quick walk down to the beach and also stopped off a place called 'Arts Unique' that had some awesomely sized, stunning sculptures carved out of massive macrocarpa tree stumps, very Kiwi.



Packed up in the morning and parked my car up and headed onto the start of the Able Tasman National Park. I had decided to hike to Bark bay along a stretch said to be the most beautiful in the park and then returning the next day. If I had of known how stunning and how much I would enjoy the hike I'd have completed the 4 day round trip.
The first day started at the beginning of the track crossing over a few low lying bidges over Marahau River. The next section of the track was amongst coastal clay and beach style trees amid a loud constant buzzing of crickets. There were soooo many crickets here it was deafening and the bastards kept flying into me. The track then climbs higher up and enters a section of winding native bush which continues untill the turn off to Anchorage. It was low tide at this stage which I didn't realise meant I could have gone down to Anchorage and crossed the tidal planes and then over some lush beach cutting a good hour or so off my tramp. Instead I continued on the high ridge track that compansated me with stunning views of all the secluded beaches. Because I took this track I was able to visit Cleopatras Pool, which is a section of river with a huge section of solid rock that acts as a natural small damn. It was well worth the extra hike. A few spits of rain had me scrambling back to the maintrack and this time I decided to take the low lying tidal track. crossing over the local bay in my bare feet amid the crabs.
At the other side of the bay It was another couple of hours passing over a huge wire bridge on my way to the campsite at Bark Bay.



The campsite is situated on little penisula that juts out and as the tide comes in is almost completley enclosed. The sands here are pure gold, the water an awesome shade of green and there is plenty of wild birds hoping around the place.
That night the weather turned really rough and I was worried about the next days hike out. I didn't fancy hiking out freezing in the rain, especially as I knew I would be a sore from todays massive hike. The next day the storm had blown itself out and it was a perfect day. I had breakfast on the beach went for a swim and chilled out for a couple of hours before packing up and heading back down the track. This time I managed to follow the whole tidal section and headed over to Anchorage. The beach before the hut here was again stunning and I spent some time here for lunch and went for another swim. After that I followed the path back for 5 hours to Marahau to the conclusion of the two day hike.



I got back to Marahau about 3pm after a short detour on the beach to dig for some 'cockles' and jumped into the showers at the campsite at the Barn. After that I drove through to Mouteka to grab some supplies and then headed to a cheap $4 a night campsite I had spotted on the way up here. At the campsite I ended up having a snooze in the car while the rain that had overtaken the day rained itself out - It didn't so I ended up having to front up and pitch the tent in the rain. After already getting soaked I thought I may as well set to about cooking the shell fish I had caught earlier in the day as there was a faint seafood pung starting to waft from my backpack where I'd thoughtfully stashed them. It took a while but eventually the boiling water convinced the shells to open and I was able to enjoy my free seafood albeit in the pouring rain. They tasted pretty good but in the back of my mind was the distinct possibility that I would be giving myself food poisoning at any stage. As it turned out it was all good. After chasing down my cooker that had vanished with the help of the caretaker who had arrived mysteriously on his bicycle. Some random guy had taken it apparently thinking the last people to camp there had left it and he was going to drop it off to the caretaker - yeah good one mate.

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Where I stayed
Able Tasman National Park

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