Today was a totally fun day! We started with a water taxi trip up the Tasman Coast to drop us off partway along the Coastal Trail. We then hiked by ourselves about 15 km north and were picked up and taken home by another water taxi.
The beaches along the way were just spectacular. We’d be hiking along going up and down through not-quite-rain forest terrain and suddenly, through the trees, we’d see the most vivid turquoise colour that reminded us we were actually hiking along the Tasman Sea. And then we’d begin our descent to beautiful golden sandy beaches. Quite the nicest beaches I’ve ever seen, particularly because you can only get there by hiking, kayaking or water taxi, and the taxis only come every 90 minutes so they are not obnoxious.
In fact, our water taxi trips were really fun! We started by getting in the boat at a road-side depot, donning our life jackets and then being pulled by tractor along the road down to the water. Boating on land, as it were. Really quite hilarious.
The tractor then drives across the beach and right into the water until there’s enough depth for the boat to start its motor and take off! Quite the morning rush hour down along the beach at low tide as all the tours and taxis start around the same time. Crazy tractor jockeying by crazy Kiwi drivers!
And then, later in the day, the same jockeying continues at late afternoon rush hour, as they all make their way up the ramp onto their trailers, to be pulled back along the road to the taxi depot! It’s quite insane and a lot of fun.
And then we finished off the day with dinner by the ocean at the one sit-down (and licensed!) restaurant in this small tourist haven at the edge of Abel Tasman National Park.
Final thought on our time in this beautiful coastal area – these Kiwis sure know how to create a fun time!