Day 93 on the Road
Kayaking in the less-explored Abel Tasman National Park
Today we are kayaking in Golden Bay to the relatively unknown part of the Abel Tasman National Park!
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Today we are kayaking on the northernmost point of the Abel Tasman National Park.
This morning we are heading to Tata Beach which is not only a stunning golden sand beach in Golden Bay but it’s also the base of Golden Bay kayaks. We are meeting our guide Tony who is gearing us up with some awesome kayaks and paddles so we are ready to hit the water. For this tour we are going to be jumping on a double kayak. this is a true test of Laura and I’s relationship. The person on the back has to kind of direct the kayak and set the pace while the person in the front has to give direction and say where they want to go as well as paddle in a very even manner so the one on the back can follow the pattern so we can by in synch at all times. this takes a bit of time to get used to.
In this tour we’re exploring the northern end of the Abel Tasman National Park which is far less explored than the southern end. Not many people think to come up here but actually, as we’re seeing today, there is a hell of a lot to see. the two shag colonies here are the two largest colonies of shag in New Zealand. There is two different species and this is the best season to come to check them out. The baby shags have hatched a few months ago and they’ve been fed by their parents since then. Now, it’s the time of the year where they take their first flight. Once they take off from those rocks, flying is going to be their main means of transportation until they die. It is such an incredible time of their life and it feels amazing to be able to be here and witness that. So needless to say that with two massive colonies nearby there are birds flying all around us at all times.
We don’t know whether we’re more impressed by the shag colonies or by the rock formations that they’re actually nesting on. The Coast around here is so rugged and made up of these real sharp granite formations.
Despite it being a bit of a grim cloudy day the water is turquoise, placid, see-through. It’s like a paradise. It’s super easy kayak on it’s like a cruise we’re gliding along the water, paddling here and there but mostly it’s a breeze. Although there are a few rock formations challenging us a little bit, it just comes down to taking a bit of time to get away from the rock and look at them from afar. We cannot stop looking at those rocks. They are stunning and the massive amount of birds on them is just making them even more interesting.
Our guide, Tony, is super knowledgeable about everything along this coastline and the really cool thing about this tour as well is that Tony is open for what we want to do as well so it kind of feels like a bit like freedom kayak hire but with the knowledge of a guide.
And then we approach the Hole in the Rock which is not just one hole it’s actually two holes in the rock. It is so awesome to kayak through that we insist on kayaking through it on the way back as well. Tony informs us that this is going to be the turning point of our tour. We have been going southbound from [Golden Bay] there and now we are turning around and going back north to Tata Beach where we started our tour. On the way back he takes the time to tell us more about the Abel Tasman National Park which is probably one of the most famous national parks in New Zealand. And Laura and I are stoked to have taken the time to explore it from [Golden Bay] this area. However, all those explanations have been cut short because we arrive a seal colony. We didn’t see it on the way in as we did paddle a little bit out to sea to the outer rocks to check out the shag colonies it’s such a great surprise to check out seals on the way back. We did not expect that and thought that the way back would be just as linear as the way in.
Golden Bay keeps on surprising us with the amount of things there is to see here. And although we have been here for about five days now, we are going to be leaving the Golden Bay area still without having done everything here. Sadly, our excursion to Golden Bay has come to an end and we are hopping back into the campervan to go back over Takaka Hill for the very last time as we head to the other more popular side of Abel Tasman National Park. But tomorrow we’re heading to the more rugged Kahurangi National Park for one day excursion to the Riwaka Resurgence. We’ll be back to the Abel Tasman National Park the very next day.
We can actually even see the baby the shaggy, I guess, yeah, so there is a little shaggy, do-do-do… That is terrible singing, Robin. Oh God. Anyway, so you can see the little shag.