Kayaking the Abel Tasman
We sat down on the beach of Kaiteriteri bright and early raring to get in the water but first we had to go through our safety briefing with Nick, one of the Kaiteriteri Kayaking guides.
We were setting off for 3 days paddling with their kayaks, fully loaded up with tents, sleeping kit, food for the duration, everything we needed, hardly surprisingly they wanted to make sure their kit got back to them and didn't float off to sea (with us). We went through capsize routines, watching the weather, landing the kayaks on the beach, and which bits of the kayaks would keep our clothes the driest.
Once in the water and ready to go we slowly paddled away from the shore leaving the guide behind. Becky and Zoe in their double kayak and me, apparently being the more competent in a single. Our first stop was appletree bay to try our first beach landing. (which went great)
Kayaking through the Abel Tasman National Park was absolutely fantastic, amazing pointy hills, little green islands full of wildlife, seals, dolphins, white sandy beaches, secluded campsites only accessible from the sea, three days absoluetly isn't enough, I could have kept going and going, sadly the kayaks were hired and had to go back.
Our two nights accomadation were provided by DOC, the guys in charge of all the parks in New Zealand. Our first night in my tent, a little cramped with the 3 of us but we stayed dry, our second night in a hut at Bark Bay, which was also on a walking path, with luxurious bunk beds, and even a cold outdoor shower! a couple 4 year olds to keep us entertained (or maybe us entertaining them). Our food was of the dehydrated variety, with soups, pastas (and dehydrated ice cream for Becky) on the menu.
We paddled around the coast for the three days getting more and more excited by the day. We kayaked about with seals swimming underneath us, we splashed through the wake of the speeding water taxis, navigated our way through reefs. Our last day we landed on the beach (landing involves paddling as fast as you can at the shore, and as you slide up the sand, jumping out before the waves try to drag you back), dragged our kayaks up, got all our kit out and did a spot of sun bathing before our taxi arrived.