Here’s the thing – if you go to New Zealand you gotta be prepared to do some hiking. Actually, lots of hiking. Hiking and walking and hiking and hiking and walking. Lots and lots and lots. Now, I’m neither a hiker nor a walker. I’m more of a explore-the-world-from-your-couch kind of girl. But for New Zealand, I left this bad habit behind and actually grew quite font of hiking. For New Zealand and the extra kilos I gained since coming here.
So I packed my bag, grabbed my friends and drove up north. [It wasn’t actually that spontaneous. In fact, we booked everything two months prior and it was really my friends grabbing me than the other way around, haha.] 8 hours cramped in a car. Quite the experience!
| Info box: Abel Tasman Coast Track
- location: north shore of the South Island
- duration: 4 days
- distance: 50 kilometers
- coast track leading through tropical bush land and forests and golden beaches
We started our four day hike the day after our drive. A water taxi took us from Marahau to Totaranui since we were walking the track in the other direction, from north to south. On the way there we got into the middle of a swarm of dolphins, joyfully swimming and jumping in the water next to our boat. It was breathtaking. I literally would have only had to reach out my arm to be able to touch them. I’ve been swimming with dolphins before, at an amusement park, but that is nothing compared to seeing them in their natural habitat.
The first day was the easiest. It was only 7 kilometers from Totaranui to Awaroa where our first hut awaited us. When going on a great walk, you can either sleep in huts or at campsites along the track. We slept in the huts which all were really lovely. There is no electricity there, only solar lights at most. They do provide running water, but it’s cold and not refined. You have to bring your cooking utensils and your food for the whole track. Plus, a sleeping bag and all your clothes, of course. You can only imagine how heavy our bags were, especially after hiking for a couple of hours. Therefore, I personally was very glad that we did not have to worry about carrying a tent on top of all the other things! I really enjoyed staying at the huts. They were located right at the beach, we literally only had to step out the door. Since they are not that big, there are not that many people there either which keeps things very homely and familiar. The lack of television, reception, internet, etc. really did all of us good and definitely boosted our social skills, haha.
Our personal highlight of the trip was on day 2 or 3 (I can’t really remember anymore). After being in the middle of nowhere for quite some time and finally having accepted the fact that there was nothing around us but sand, water and trees we stumbled over a high end café just a little bit off-track. We’ve already been walking long enough to be tired of our meals in cans and other packed up food that this café/restaurant seemed like heaven. They had everything a millennial’s heart desires: chai latte, a delicious lunch meal and wifi. Could this even be real??!! Needless to say that we spent several hours of our lives and a good fortune in there. T.O.T.A.L.L.Y. worth it.
The track is truly beautiful although I was sort of expecting it to be more diverse. It is really beaches and tropical forests only. Nonetheless, it was an amazing experience and will be one of those memories that will stand out when I one day think back to my time here. Even the hiking I enjoyed a lot. In fact, I liked it so much that I booked the Milford Track for the end of April next year. The Milford Track is a Great Walk as well, but more challenging than Abel Tasman. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. I guess I’ll see for myself!