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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman - Nov 22-24, 2007 (JRS)

Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman - Nov 22-24, 2007 (JRS)

After our disappointing time at Frans Josef Glacier, we headed north in a hurry in order to spend a couple of days in the Nelson area, including a visit to Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman National Parks.

We had a bit more time in the morning the day we went to Nelson Lakes, so packing up camp was a bi more leisurely, unlike the past two mornings when we were going all out.  We stopped in Reefton to get some info on the Nelson Lakes area and call to make Travel Doctor reservations.  We also booked our ferry passage for the 24th.  It’s hard to believe our tour of the South Island is almost over.  But, as Lynette said, we’re ready for some beach time and warmer weather.  We headed to Nelson Lakes National Park where we did a 1.5 hour hike up a 4×4 road to a nice lookout of one of the two main lakes in the park.  We then headed to St. Arnaud, which sits on the lookout of the other, larger of the two lakes, stopping at a nice overlook on the way.  The lakes are quiet and tranquil; sitting nestled beneath some fairly impressive mountains at the north end of the Southern Alps.  Had we started the trip here, it would have been quite impressive, but after coming from Wanaka, Queenstown, and Milford, it didn’t quite stack up.

We then headed for Nelson, stopping in a small town to cook some pasta for dinner.  We decided to splurge on a cute backpacker’s in Nelson called Paradiso, which had a pool, hot tub, sauna, and a private room for us.  It was well worth it, even having to put up with the highly annoying Canadian chick in the hot tub and the crew who apparently don’t believe in the pre-shower before entering the hot tub!

The backpacker’s was a nice night and we started the day with a free breakfast as a bonus perk.  We went to the Travel Doctor for a consultation and vaccinations for the more disease-prone portions of our trip.  We ended up getting 3 shots: 1) yellow fever, 2) Rabies (the first of three), 3) Typhoid/Hepititus A combination.  The third caused both of our right arms to be wickedly sore the rest of the next day (and in fact for several days after).  We headed out of Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park, which sits in a forested area along a beautiful stretch of coast looking out over emerald and turquoise waters.  It was very tropical looking.  We got a ride up the coast and part way back on a water taxi.  We saw a couple of seals and some shags (which looked like penguins from afar), but the highlight is the gorgeous blue-green waters.  It’s spectacular with the dense green forested hills as a backdrop.There were loads of kayakers, some of them doing hut to hut trips, which sounds very cool, but we decided that hiking would be better.  We hiked back down the coast for about 5 hours before coming to Anchorage Bay where we set up camp and reheated our leftover pasta for dinner.  The journey was made about an hour longer because it wasn’t low tide and we had to take the boring (hilly) high track around a bay.  Big bummer!  He hike ended with about 250 meters along the beach with a few sunset colors in the sky which made for a great finale.  I had never backpacked across a beach before, which was a pretty cool experience.The next day was more-or-less uneventful.  We packed up camp and hiked out, which took about four hours.  There were a few more impressive views over the water and the forest track was beautiful.  Abel Tasman definitely did not let down.  It was on our agenda during our last trip to NZ, but we just didn’t have time.  I’m glad we were able to fit it in this time, and I’d highly recommend that it be fit into anyone’s itinerary if at all possible.

 

 

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