Today we explored the Abel Tasman National Park. We were on a 9:30 water taxi to Torrent Bay, and then we planned to hike from there to Bark Bay. In order to catch our taxi we needed to leave our apartment at 8:00….so it meant an early morning for everyone.
The water taxi was better than I expected. It starts with the water taxi being pulled into the water with a tractor. This is because the tide varies so much and the area they start the taxis at is very shallow. Once the boat was in the water, the driver drove us past Split Apple Rock. This is a rock that split, and thus it looks like a split apple. During high tide you can kayak between it.
Next the water taxi stopped at a seal colony. The colony was females and pups. We were able to watch them for about ten minutes. It was pretty cool watching them play and swim.
After that, we were dropped off at our location. We then had a 6.4 km hike to reach our pickup location. The kids did pretty well on the hike. There was some complaining midway through, but at that point we stopped for a quick “picnic” lunch. Next they were looking forward to the bridge, and after that the hike was almost over. So while there were some complaints, they were not too bad.
While on the hike we went to Medlands Beach. This was a very nice beach to just relax at. The water was crystal clear on both sides and there were lots of shells. It would have been an awesome place to swim if the water and temperatures were warmer.
While it was way too cold to do any swimming, one of the benefits of doing this hike in the winter was the lack of crowds. Supposedly in the summer the beaches in this park would have been filled with day hikers and backpackers.
After Medlands Beach we continued to our pickup beach called Bark Bay. On one side you had the ocean and on the other side was a huge bay. It was interesting to observe how much the coast/bay changes with the tide. The kids put a stick where the water touched the sand and we observed how quickly the tide went out. Additionally I noticed the same thing with some steps that I had been sitting on.
Our taxi came promptly at 3:15 to pick us up. We reached our car and made it back to our rental around 4:30. We relaxed for a few minutes and figured out dinner. The boys ordered fish and chips from a take away place across the street from us. Rachel had a gluten free fried calamari from the restaurant (The Styx)we ate at the night before, and I made myself some pasta. We then settled in for the night.