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Able Tasman National Park

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 19 May 2008 | Views [1531]

Fisherman Island along Able Tasman National Park...

Fisherman Island along Able Tasman National Park...

I drove back across the hills and winding roads through Takaka and on to the Able Tasman National Park this morning. The weather wasn't as nice as yesterday and I was driving through clouds at the top of the hill! On route I tried to find Hawkes Hole, which is one of the largest caves in the whole southern hemisphere. I missed any turn off for it on the way through a couple of days ago, and struggled to find it today too as the only sign post for it was laid on the side of the road in the grass! The gravel track had no indication of how far the end of the road was, which is where the carpark for the walk to the hole is, so I just headed down it. After 15 minutes or so struggling on the savage rocky , gravel road, I found a suitable turning spot and turned back. The van was getting battered, and the further I went along the worse the track was becoming, no mention of this in the bloody guide book, just a hearty "at the end of the track, its just a 30 minute walk to the hole", cheers then! The road is not suitable for anything other than 4x4's or on foot, and goodness knows how long it is! It was a little disappointing, but I'm sure I'll see more holes... ;-)

Once I'd got to Able Tasman Park, I parked and had a gander at the information boards for this huge park. There is an ocean track, which is the most popular, but it takes several days and you need to book huts ahead or take tents and cooking equipment with you. I intended on doing some sections of it myself, and then seeing if I could do more with an organised tour or guide. My feet were hurting today from the pounding they took yesterday, but I didn't want to do nothing at all, so I took a walk along the coastal path, through two bays and took in some of the lovely beach views along the way. They really are as good as in the brochures! After an hour and a quarter walk, I turned back so as not to cripple myself too much, and had some lunch back at the van. I then drove back down the coast to Motueka and into the camp site I'd stayed at two nights ago. From here I booked a day trip for tomorrow, where I get picked up from camp at 8am, taken on a river boat halfway along the coast and then take a kayak all the way back down the coast, taking in all the hidden treasures along the shoreline on the way. This will give me feet a well deserved rest and give my shoulders something to do other than carry bloody heavy bags! I'm looking forward to it, the weather looks good and that part of the coastline is nice and calm pretty much all year round (although I'm sure the water is cold!).

The camp site I'm staying at has a spa pool, which I then took use of for half an hour for a really nice hot soak! I made a new favourite of mine for dinner afterwards, something stolen and adapted from Katie who I met in Oz, pasta with a head of broccoli, cooked together and then a helping of pesto and some tuna mixed in, yummy and filling and not terribly bad for me either! I've settled in now to watch the third Lord of the Rings film for the second time (I'm badly addicted to these films now!) and get a good sleep in before tomorrows full day...

I did take some pics today, but I'll upload those tomorrow night with those that I take during the day tomorrow... needless to say they are brilliant! ;-p

Ciao for now

Tags: the great outdoors, walking


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