There and back again - Abel Tasman (Day 1)

New Zealand is known for nature, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) has found a great way to get people to see the best of the best. Thus, the 9 Great Walks of New Zealand: Abel Tasman, Milford,  Lake Waikaremoana, Tongariro Northern Circuit, Whanganui Journey, Heaphy, Routeburn, Kepler, and Rakiura.

So far I can say I have done three of these: Milford, Tongariro and Abel Tasman.

We walked the Abel Tasman with our good friend, Divya. They recommend using 3-5 days to do the trek, and we did it in three...but we like to brag that we rather did it in 48 hours.

We flew to Nelson on Monday morning with Divya in tow, and a shuttle picked us up at the airport and drove us to Marahau, the start of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. The weather was predicted to be perfect for the whole week and we were excited to experience this unique part of New Zealand.

At 12:30 we began walking and we had to walk 24 kms to make it to our accommodation. We managed to get to the hut at Bark Bay by 7:30 and heat up some dehydrated meals for dinner with the help of a new type of camp stove we thought we'd try. The camp stove was basically a metal stand that you set a fuel cube onto. It burns for about 9-12 minutes before going out. For only being $25 (New Zealand), I was really happy with our random purchase as opposed to having to carry fuel canisters with us along the way.

The DOC huts are pretty nicely laid out, with the kitchen being closed off from the sleeping areas. This hut had 34 bunks (aka mattresses). The bunk system is not individual bunk beds, but rather, a lower level and upper level where up to 8 mattresses can lay side-by-side, and there are two ladders to get up.

We slept on the top bunk and were woken up by the sound of people getting up and at it by 6AM. We didn't plan on starting day 2 for a few hours due to a tidal crossing quite late in the day, but we decided to just take our time while we walked instead (more details in my next post).

I took a lot of GoPro video as well and plan to make a movie from this hike to summarize, so these are only pictures that I had on my phone.

[There were a few inlets we had to cross, and this was one - Torrent Bay. We did not
plan our drinking water accordingly (aka failed to find water at the start of the track) and
finally got to fill up our water bottles here after 4 hours of walking in the sun and heat - rookie move]

[Div is still feelin' fresh]

[47 meter suspension bridge that of course Marius jumped on while I tried to not panic]

[Coming into Bark Bay, where we spent night 1 in the hut]

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