Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Today, our New Zealand adventures bring us in the Abel Tasman National Park. We travel by kayak to unseen beauty.

This morning, we had a good breakfast and the great company of Richard, the host of the Wairepo house in Tasman. We called the kayak company and all lights were green – we could go ahead and face the sea by kayak. So we drove off to Kaiteriteri, a village about 25 minutes away from the B&B.
Craig, our guide, showed us the base principles of sea kayaking, gave us the safety jackets and we could leave for the split apple rock in a bay at about 45 minutes form the shore where we left. Our group was only two kayaks and the guide in his kayak. But the two girls that manned the other kayak had never met and one of them understood as good English as I understand Mandarine Chinese – zip, nothing, nul… The both of them actually making it to the rock can be considered a miracle. The Kiwi girl that was blessed with the stranger wasn’t the happiest face we have seen recently…

Kayak near the Split Apple in Abel Tasman National Park

Vicky in the kayak near the Split Apple

The stories on the split rock are very divers. The nicest one is based on a Maori story, that the god of the sea and the god of the land could not agree on who owned the rock. While fighting, they split it. And now at high tide the rock belongs to the god of the sea – at low tide it belongs to the god of the land. We reached it when it was high tide and then indeed the apple seems to float on the sea.
We made it back to the beach of kaiteriteri and had something that was given as a lunchbox, but neither Vicky or I could find the parts in it that could actually be eaten. So we went on the afternoon journey with a little hunger.

Watertaxi in Abel Tasman NP

Water-taxis are the most popular means of transportation for day-tourists such as ourselves. People that stay multiple days in the Abel Tasman National Park use kayaks to paddle to camp grounds. If we come back to New Zealand, that’s what we would love to do here as well. But now we managed the afternoon with a water-taxi. First stop: the seal colony in the marine reserve in the Abel Tasman National Park. And then on to the Onetahuti beach.

Onetahuti Beach

Our taxi dropped us here and we walked in the rain forest to the Bark Bay, where we were picked up after a couple of hours.

Bark Bay

Back in the B&B, the internet was back up and we could upload some of our pictures. Just briefly, as we had reservations in the Apple Shed for the second day in a row. We made it back home and dreamed of kayaks and split apples. Why apples are the key element here, is a story for tomorrow.
Tasman, New Zealand the 19th of January 2011