Drive Left, Walk Left and Tramp… Day 12 & 13 

By this point driving on the left is no longer strange. The thing I find myself having to remember is to walk on the left! It is one of those things you do not think about until put in the situation. At the grocery store when walking down the isle, you walk on the right side (unless you are alone then down the center it is). When hiking and someone is walking toward you, you step right to pass them. Think about it next time you are out and about. You always go right! 

Tramping… not hiking! Not sure I like the word tramping compaired to hiking. Rubbish for trash, I love it! We have enjoyed our hikes or tramps so far and look forward to many more. 

Day 12

Our first full day in the Abel Tasman park area. The park is very large (55,700 acres) with only 4 places to park to start your tramp or take in the views. It is located on the South Island on the north western corner. Known for their beaches, hikes and amazing views. I find it fantastic that New Zealand took a place they knew was beautiful and made it so it could not be commercialized. Those who want to get to a nice beach must hike or spend money on a water taxi. Once there if you want to stay the night it must be in a designated area with a permit in hand. You can hike the whole coastal track in 3 days. Maybe next time, I am still working on convincing the husband camping is fun. 

We spent our day driving a few hours through lots of tight turns up, down, and around mountains to arrive at the northern tip of the park. To get to three of the parking lots for the coastal track you must spend time going down a dirt/gravel road. We went on the longer 10k dirt road to arrive at Totaranui Bay. Using my handy blanket scarf (which has been a lifesaver) to sit on we enjoyed the views, lunch and a walk on the beach. 

Where Totaranui is located is part of the Golden Bay Area. Well known for their golden beaches. 

After a few hours we headed back up and then down the dirt road to another dirt road that took us to Wainui Bay, a more secluded not as popular beach. We took a short 25min walk to a few different points and bays close by. 

Lastly we drove around the corner to what I believe was called Wainui falls. A popular location for locals as there is a deep swimming hole at the bottom of the falls and cliffs to jump off of. The easy 45 min hike along a river with crystal clear water was pleasant and not something we see in Ohio. 

By the time we returned from the falls and made the drive back to the lodge it was time for dinner. The previous day we went to the grocery and purchased food to cook. Making the whole “what do you want for dinner” situation disappear. Burgers it was! 

Day 13

Knowing that this adventure trip would be long I tried to plan some days that we didn’t do much. Today we slept in (if you call 9am sleeping in) and took our time heading out the door. We drove about 20min down the road to the one parking location on a paved road that you can access the coastal track. 

We arrived at low tide, it was cool as there was at least half a mile of sand before the water started! So strange to see that major of a shift in the tide. 

This is the best photo I have on my phone of the tide. At high tide all the sand you can see is water. 

We had packed a lunch for our hike in the morning so we could spend the day at one of the beaches we stumbled upon. The coastal walk had many different views of the ocean mixed with forest hiking. The shade was nice as we are finally healed from the sun burns we got on our first day in Sydney! 

After hiking for a few hours we came across Apple Tree Bay. The beach had a mixture of pebble and sandy shore and shallow water. 

We spent our time laying in the sun, reading and talking. Heading back to the car park around 4pm putting us back at the lodge around 5:30.  

We took down the laundry we hung up that morning from the wash and started dinner. No worries, the smoke alarm works great! I made sure to test it out as it was too windy to cook the steak outside. Wops. 

Tomorrow we take a water taxi a little more north than we hiked today to then hike north about 4 hours.


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