Thur 30 March 2017
- Km Today: 26
- Total Km: 1206
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Today is a day like no other. I will let the photos speak for themselves as it is the most stunning coastal area and one which deserves far more descriptive credit than I may give. Let’s just say that I hope every reader gets a chance to walk or kayak this part of the Abel Tasman in their lifetime. Awaroa lodge have their own track which takes walkers up to join the Abel Tasman track. I can’t help but smile at the DOC signs which advise that this is not a DOC track – for it implies that the track may not be to their standard. Nonetheless the track was in excellent condition and even had benches for admiring the view. You’ve got nothing to worry about DOC. I descend onto the board walk before reaching the wonderfully artistic bridge leading across to Onetahuti Bay. The bridge ends representing tuna or eels. The western end of the beach is serene, the other approach bustling with day kayakers taking up the beach. I get past them as quickly as possible.
From Onetahuti the clear turquoise waters capture my attention and I’m reminded of tropical destinations. The track crosses to Tonga Bay. It was here that granite was quarried and the rectangular blocks can still be seen on the beach. There follows an extended walk with some good area views through the bush of beech, mamaku and kanuka.
The midway point today is at Bark Bay or Wairima which is a popular landing spot for day hikers and groups. At the southern end of the beach is Rollo’s bach which he built in the 1950’s. As the bach is on park land Rollo, friends and family can use it only during his lifetime, then it’s outta here. The trail continues past Medlands beach, another stunning spot then up for more views before crossing the Falls River swingbridge. It’s very pleasing to admire the mature rimu during this section of the walk.
Torrent Bay was named by the French explorer Dumont D’Urville, who charted it in 1827, on account of the substantial river torrents entering the bay. The houses in Torrent Bay must be self sufficient as there is no road access nor electricity to the settlement. At low tide the estuary can be crossed to Anchorage however as the tide was high I have to go the long way around. However the up side of this extension is to visit Cleopatra’s pool which is located up a pristine creek and I’m rewarded with a refreshing dip in this pretty pool that catches the sunlight between the trees.
On reaching Anchorage Bay I walked it’s length to where a sign is located to wait and meet the transfer to tonight’s accommodation. I’m staying on the Aquapackers and as the transfer is not scheduled for another hour I sit and wait, enjoying the sunshine and watching the many kayakers and day visitors depart on the multitude of transfer boats returning to civilisation. I am most content to stay another night.
Aquapackers is the only floating backpackers accommodation in Abel Tasman National Park. This unique backpacker hostel is on board a catamaran. It has 2 backpacker dorms in the hulls and 3 double cabins. The bedding is provided plus a delicious BBQ dinner in the evening and breakfast in the morning (mmm pancakes). It is not licensed to sell alcohol but guests can bring their own.