"" Writer's Wanderings: New Zealand Diary - Relaxing At Abel Tasman National Park

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Zealand Diary - Relaxing At Abel Tasman National Park

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Abel Tasman National Park is full of hiking trails. Unfortunately there is no way to get to some of them by car and if you are a serious hiker, you take an aqua taxi to several different drop off/pick up points and hike sections of it at a time. This was all explained to us when we checked into the Villas. Really though, did we look like we were serious hikers? I think our host was disappointed that we only wanted to walk the Coastal Trail in and out for as long as we thought we could physically manage.

Our philosophy was that even though we would be going and coming over the same territory, we would be seeing it from a different direction and in a different light. With that in mind, we set out about 9 a.m. camera, lenses, water bottle, and iPhones in hand (sometimes the iPhone gets a great shot too).

We decide on a goal: Coquille Bay which according to the park sign is about a 50 minute walk. The trail is great. Wide enough for two and with boardwalks over marshy areas. While we find a few inclines, they are rather gentle and don’t require climbing over boulders so we’re happy.

Along the way we find several species of birds and try to find the beautiful song bird that has entranced us with its melody. The bird with an exclamation point on his head is a California quail. I guess if NZ can have Canadian geese which we've seen, why not California quail?

The very blue bird though that we see often and abounds in the field near our villa is the Pukeko and is native to New Zealand. Yes, it is really that blue and with a red beak and feet. They are characterized in lots of souvenirs in the shops.

Pretty vistas and views are around most every corner. We take a side trip on a nature trail which is a little more rugged and muddy but takes us along a gurgling stream that flows over large boulders and is quite picturesque.

All told, our walk takes the whole morning. We are proud of ourselves for walking so far and hope that it makes up for some of the overeating we’ve done. At the villa, I make ham and cheese sandwiches and since we don’t have any mustard, I use butter and strawberry jam on the bread. It turns out to be very tasty.

Our afternoon, we decide, should be spent doing laundry and just relaxing. We’ve been traveling for more than two weeks now and need a little break. This is the perfect place for it. We sit on a bench as we wait for the clothes to wash and dry and we read and write and check out some of what’s going on back home through the internet. The most noise we hear is the buzz of some giant bumble bees in the flowers near us and the occasional honking of the gaggle of geese down near the horses. Peaceful and restful. A great day any way you look at it.

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