Thursday, January 17, 2013

Abel Tasman



Our "three hour tour" with Wilson's was more successful than Gilligans.
Their boat pulled right up to the beach to drop us off and pick us up.


Abel Tasman National Park is named for the Dutch explorer of the same name who was the first European to visit New Zealand. The year was 1642 and Tasman thought he was near Argentina at the southern tip of South America.  Unfortunately for Tasman and his crew, he landed at an agricultural site of importance to the Maori.  Fighting and bloodshed followed leading Tasman to name the area Murders' Bay.  Three hundred years after Tasman's discovery, the area became a National Park and Murders' Bay is now known by the much more welcoming and marketable name of Golden Bay.


The appropriately named Fan Tail bird.
As popular as the park is, it has a  feeling of remoteness - probably because it's not easy to get to.  Travel is either by boat or on foot to most areas as roads and vehicle access are limited. We booked a boat trip leaving from Kaiteriteri and traveling as far north as Totaranui (almost, but not quite, the park's entire coastline).  After our tour we were dropped off at the old Tonga Quarry site beach, about midway down the park.  We "tramped" on our own for a few hours, imagining what it would have been like to be explorers on a great adventure. 



Split Apple Rock and Tonga Quarry Beach



A few dolphins, including a Mom and baby, skimmed along the water next to our boat.



Ferns cover much of the park, surrounding the trails above and below...



with their patterns repeated in shadows at our feet.
      


One of the attractions for seaman to the area was the availability of fresh water.



Maybe being  castaways for a day or two wouldn't be so bad!

If ever you find yourself in the vacinity, we highly recommend taking one of the boat tours offered by Wilsons Abel Tasman