If you like walking and hiking, New Zealand is paradise.
Most cities, towns and villages have walking tracks clearly marked. Some will take you along the coast, lake or river. Some will be inside a park. Some will require an extra effort to go up a hill and get excellent views of the area.
In addition to these short walks, there are plenty of day and several-day tracks in the countryside, a lot of them in National Parks. The most popular ones are known as the ‘Great Walks‘ and involve tracks of different levels (easy, medium, hard) and lengths (2 to 6 days), all in surrounding landscapes of incredible beauty. As I said before, a hiking paradise.
Due to my physical condition I am limited to day walks, but I could not leave New Zealand without doing at least a part of a Great Walk. I love walking, and I love nature! So I had to try, and I decided to do two of them.
My first long walk would be in Abel Tasman National Park.
The Abel Tasman National Park is located at the north of the south island, and the Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of the most popular Great Walks. It goes along the coast, crossing dense deep green forests and passing by beautiful sand beaches with clear water. Additionally, it is located in one of the sunniest regions in New Zealand. Could you imagine a more pleasant walk?
I did the last (or first) part of the track. I booked the transport from Nelson: a bus to Marahau, an aqua taxi to Anchorage Beach, and a bus back from Marahau to Nelson. The track would consist on 12.4km along the coast, from Anchorage Beach to the village (Marahau).
As I write this, I look at the date of my pictures: I was in Abel Tasman three and a half months ago.
As time passes by my memories from the places I visited fade away. I forget the smells, the sounds, the feeling that produced me to be there. The details disappear while the highlights get more clear. Like an sculpture, by memory removes everything which is not important and only the most significant is left.
I feel sorry that I did not write more when I was there, that I did not capture all these details that are now gone for good. On the other hand, I find it interesting to look back, from a distance: the details give way to a more global picture, the strong emotions to a more settled understanding.
I look back and I get random images. Oh, that place was stunning. Ah, that was the place where several people offered to drive me back to the village. And that was the day where I hiked a steep hill after a heavy lunch, and when I saw the views I forgot about all the effort.
I look back and I realize that I remember some places for its beauty, others for its people, others for the experiences I had there.
Abel Tasman belongs to the first group: the beauty.
I look back and I see myself walking inside a forest. Under the shadows of the trees, it is a bit cool so I have to put on a long sleeve t-shirt. The track goes up from the beach. On the top, the vegetation is less dense, there are less trees and more bushes.
Every time the vegetation is low enough to see the views, my breath stops.
The beaches are very beautiful.
The color of the water is stunning.
It is possible to do the whole walk in about 4 hours, but it takes me 6. I stop to take photos. I go down to every single beach (and go up again). I look at the ocean and wish it was warmer so I could go inside and swim. I sit down and enjoy the silence. I relax. Definitely, it is a pleasant walk in paradise.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Return bus from Nelson to Marahau + one way aqua taxi to Anchorage Beach: NZD$58
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A Wandering Memory says
Omg I love that place. I missed it first but upon return it was magical. Thanks for helping my memories. Great shots.. A wandering memory
Thank you! Yes, it is a magical place 🙂
A Wandering Memory says
Really is – Its on my list of memories to write about some time. Thanks for reminding me – Hope you enjoy my blog as much as i did yours
I just checked it, wonderful photos and inspiring stories 🙂
A Wandering Memory says
Thank you very much – come back soon 🙂
Very nice and interesting post. It seems to be a wonderful and lovely place. Your pictures are awesome too! 🙂
Thank you! It is indeed a wonderful, awesome place 🙂
California Globetrotter says
OMGoodness these all look fabulous! You’re pictures are great! I hope to make it to New Zealand one day! Gonna have to pin some of these! 🙂
I hope you can make it to New Zealand, it is a great place, worth the trip!
This is just stunning, what a spectacular place for walking. I do need to get to New Zealand to explore too. #MondayEscapes
New Zealand is full of spectacular places for walking, paradise 🙂
Ruth - Tanama Tales says
I have never been to New Zealand but from the pictures I have seen, this is the place I will go first if I ever make it to the country (I will go to the Coromandel Peninsula after that). Your pictures are amazing. Not sure if you need words when photos tell so much.
Thank you! I did not have time to go to Coromandel Peninsula, but I heard it is a spectacular place as well 🙂
Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) says
Wow this brings back memories, I spent a day kayaking there about 8 years ago and I really is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing x #mondayescapes
Wow kayaking there must be spectacular as well, giving a different view of the forest and beaches 🙂
I’ve never heard about this national park before today. It seems peaceful and the nature looks incredible ! Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂
I wonder how many people go there in summer… I was there in autumn so it was peaceful. And of course, nature is gorgeus all year!
Off season is always nice when you visit national parks. It’s like you have the place to yourself 🙂
Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) says
I think you might have found paradise! This place is just the most stunning! #MondayEscapes
Thanks! Yes, it is a stunning place!
I’m so glad you caught me before I scoot off! When I got to the second photo I was absolutely hooked, but then it went on and on, even better but that’s not possible! Why wasn’t i born a New Zealander? That place was made for me! 🙂 Thank you so much for a beautiful share. I usually try to make it to Monday Escapes but it’s been impossible this week.
Yes, why weren’t we born in New Zealand? Even though I imagine that living among such stunning landscapes, it might be more difficult to feel surprised while traveling 😉
Thanks for adding to your Monday Walks 🙂
Judging by the photos, I would most definitely agree that this is a walk in paradise. How I long to explore New Zealand! Thanks so much for sharing on #MondayEscapes
New Zealand was my dream for a long time, and it has been worth the wait. I hope you can make it there too!
Thanks for organizing #MondayEscapes
Stephanie Robinson says
What beautiful photos – and I’m inclined to agree re paradise. New Zealand hasn’t appealed before but it looks beautiful #mondayescapes
Thank you! Yes, New Zealand is very beautiful with different kinds of landscapes, from beaches to mountains, glaciers to volcanoes…
Jennifer (Dr. J) says
“The beaches are very beautiful.
The color of the water is stunning. ”
I think that says it all! The Abel Tasman Park is one place I do want to visit if I ever get to the south island.The way you have done it would be good for me too. Thanks for this!
Welcome! I’m glad the post is useful, and I wish you can make it there! Happy travels 🙂
It has taken me a looong time to get to NZ but I did see a very small part of the north island last year and fell in love. I’d dearly like to spend a couple of months there. Was the weather good for you in the autumn months?
The weather… good question! In the north island it was fine, not cold and I got only one day of non stop heavy rain. The south island was another story. The west coast (where there are the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound) was cold and very, very rainy (I describe the weather in those posts). The east coast was better, a bit rainy or cloudy but not so much. And the north coast (Abel Tasman) was wonderful. NZ has a lot of different weathers 🙂 I think a couple of months is good, I was there five weeks and a half and could not see everything, specially in the north island. Happy travels 🙂
Stunning photos Laia! It’s nice that you can write about your trip now – it can be hard when you’re on the road to write it all up at the time. You need to savour the experience then enjoy the memories later! New Zealand has such amazing and varied landscapes! Happy travels 🙂
Thanks Rosemary! Yes, it is incredible how difficult it is to find time while traveling… One could think that now that I’m not working I would have all the time, haha! But as you say I need to savour the experience while I’m still here, and wtiting about New Zealand brings back nice memories. Happy travels 🙂