Walking through Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand should be on everyones list of things to do when visiting the country. It is a gorgeous walk through forest and along golden sand beaches with azure seas. It is an easy walk taking on average 3 days, or 2 days if going fast, stretching for around 55km along the south islands northwest shores.
You can stay at huts provided along the way or camp in the campgrounds. Camping near the beach with the stars overhead, a campfire going and the sound of the waves breaking on the beach soothes the inner self to an extremely peaceful sleep. You can start from the north or the south side. Once heading further into the park you can get away from some of the day trippers who visit and find complete peace in nature.
The walk is very relaxing, passing by streams, small waterfalls, creeks and beaches, all the while tramping along through the forest for the most part. Birds will keep you company with their sing song sounds tweeting through the bush, while sometimes following you along the beaches.
Being New Zealand the weather can range from glorious sunshine to cloudy rainy days. Check the weather before going as sunny days are obviously the way to go. Cloudy days are not so bad either however, showing the Abel Tasman National Park in a different light with moody skies.
At some points you will have to climb up rather steep hills for a while, but are rewarded with great views for your efforts, and a gentle downhill walk to an inviting beach.
The only real hindrance on this walk is the tide. There is a part of the walk around halfway where you must cross a bay along the sand, and the only time to do so is at low tide. Times for low tide change all the time, so you must be aware before you set out when they are. Missing low tide means waiting around until the next day to cross!
With your shoes in your hands you walk across, getting muddy feet and having to wade in a bit of water sometimes coming close to knee height. The crossing itself is beautiful.
Whenever you finish the Abel Tasman National Park walk, you have a few options to get back to where you need to go. You could take water taxis from certain points along the way, but they can be a little expensive. Alternatively there is a bus that goes to the 2 main starting points on either the north or south. It doesn’t run that regular though. The best way is to get someone to pick you up or hitchhike a ride out with some of the day-trippers.
New Zealand has a number of walks that are classified as great walks with the Abel Tasman National Park being one of them. So if you happen to be in New Zealand or planning a trip there wishing to see some of the best beaches the country has to offer, then set your sights on the Abel Tasman National Park.
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