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Home » Adventures » New Zealand Extended Holiday » Abel Tasman NP

Abel Tasman National Park


March 15, 2013

While in the middle of my walk along the coast, I met up with Abel Tasman Canyons for a side trip of canyoning. I undertook their advanced trip on Waterfall Creek, despite never having truly canyoned before — my previous abseiling, spelunking, and boulder hopping sounding convincing enough to let me go. With our guides describing the local fauna and history, an hour walk along an old track and another hour scrambling up a hillside led to the start of the interesting section of Waterfall Creek. We had lunch, changed into wetsuits, and started down the canyon. Due to the extreme drought New Zealand was experiencing the water flow was low, but still seemed powerful enough for me. It at least made abseiling down waterfalls easier — which we did several times. We also slid down natural waterslides (including one 17m high), jumped into pools, and zip lined across the canyon. The whole time was a blast, even while only being partially successfully in avoiding slipping on the wet boulders. Several times we also intentionally abseiled off the end of the rope — once to fall into a pool of water and the other straight into a zip line. I had a great time in this natural outdoor playground that few get to enjoy, especially in a park most famous for its relaxing beaches. And after all the fun it was back to the Coastal Track to finish my tramp through Abel Tasman.

Making my way through the narrow canyon
Sliding down a large waterfall, although not the biggest one on the trip
Sliding down the narrow waterslide
A relaxing part swimming in a large pool
Abseiling down a waterfall
Scrambling through the slippery canyon
Abseiling down yet another waterfall

Coastal/Inland Track (Great Walk)

Route I Walked88 km

Route I Walked
88 km

March 13 – 18, 2013

As a change from my many walks through the mountains, I headed to Abel Tasman National Park for beaches and bikinis. I tramped along the very popular and well graded Coastal Track, taking in beautiful beaches and coastlines, as well as observing a large number of kayak flotillas. Although a Great Walk mostly lacks any backcountry or wilderness experience, I still enjoyed the easy stroll along the ocean. The numerous beaches, forests, estuaries, tidal crossings, and wildlife made for fun days. To get return to my van I circled back on the much less busy Inland Track (not seeing another person the whole way), which wandered through the bush on a ridgeline, providing only occasional views. These were mostly obstructed by clouds and rain though, as a month long drought took a hiatus to soak me.

Apple Tree Bay
The sun rising over Awaroa Inlet
Onetahuti Bay
The clear water in Onetahuti Bay
View from the top of the Inland Track out to the ocean