Abel Tasman CruiseFebruary 4, 2017 in New Zealand
The morning was a little more relaxed today and the sun was still shining! Woop! We set off for Kaiteriteri at the northerly point of the Abel Tasman national park where we were due to catch a ferry. The road was another unsealed New Zealand special, winding up and down more hills and full of pot holes and ridges that made the journey once again a little unpleasant, the views this time were much nicer though!
We arrived at the campsite and DOC office and walked out onto the beautiful golden sand beach to wait for our boat. It was a stunning beach and clearly very popular with visitors and trampers (walkers) alike with a camp that housed up to 1000 people. It would have been nice to do the whole coastal walk of five days but maybe we will save that for when I'm a bit fitter.
We boarded our catermaran using a little bridge they folded out onto the shore and took a pew downstairs. The journey south to Anchorage took about an hour and we headed upstairs for the majority of it to enjoy the view even more. The coastline is considered one of the best and it is no surprise. So many golden bays, lush green mountains and gorgeous blue sea, dotted with rocks. We saw a stingray at one of the beaches we docked at and a couple more seals too on sections of rock.
Anchorage was gorgeous, the bay curved right around the long beach and behind us was the forest waiting for us to explore. We chose a walk to Cleopatras pool which was a two hour return and should leave us time to enjoy the beach too. The walk was a bit steep in places, a lot more difficult than anything I have done in a while but the views made the effort worth it. Torrent bay was visible over sections of walk and as the tide was out the blue sea mixed with swirling ribbons of sand that came far inland. We really enjoyed the walk, the bush is gorgeous and full of the sounds of cicadas, which are honestly deafening at times and I cannot believe they can make such a noise! The pool was a pretty place, shallow waterfalls and a big pool that looked very inviting for a swim and made us wish we had time. I managed to fall in a bit whilst walking from rock to rock so my foot at least got a dip! Not embarrassing at all :-/
We got back to the beach with some time to spare and set about changing to have a swim in the sea. I went first and stopped once the water hit my belly....it was freezing! Rob went next and decided to just run and jump, it was still cold, he never got used to it lol. Eventually we sat and sunned ourselves to dry off and then caught the boat back to camp, enjoying the coastline views again on the way.
From here it was another drive along the gravel road and then to our next camp for the night at Richmond.
Our final stop off for the day was to a cave which people online had advised was spectacular. The one downside was the steep climb that everyone mentioned, very very steep and very high. We went for it though and after walking along a dried up riverbed for a while we cane to the steep walkway up. It was steep from the off and it never let up. They weren't kidding when they said it was tough. We had to keep stopping for me to catch my breath (and consider just turning back) but I managed to plough on. It felt never ending as each corner revealed another section and then another and as we got higher it became more of a clamber at times than a walk.
Eventually though the cave came into view and it really did make the jaw drop. I have never seen anything like it. Absolutely cavernous and the ceiling just filled with thousands of phytocarsts which hung like daggers. We walked along the lookout into the cave and you couldn't see the bottom at all, it was massive. We tried to capture it in photos, which turned out to be quite impossible, and then headed back down the horribly steep path to the car.
We rewarded ourselves with a pizza Hut pizza, where we also noticed the odd attire of some old local ladies who were dressed nice but with purple caps on their head that made them look like they should be on a coach trip, before heading to bed exhausted.Read more