Kayaking the famous Abel Tasmen

Waking up to a beautiful day sun shining and warm, Swedish Ida and I have a day adventure KAYAKING around the ABEL TASMAN park and is really the first proper time have done it. Previously just in Elephant Hills and in Vietnam, these Kayaks look much more professional and we are given more gear to wear to keep us warm and keep water, so you can take shows and camera etc. as it all doesn’t get wet. We start off the trip with a German family who are nice, but with us both feeling so tired we struggle a little in the morning as the Kayaks are hard work on your are shoulders and arms.

After the first hour we are left on gorgeous private island having some nice tea and enjoying the sunshine and great views. Even better is when a group f baby seals swim past, looking a little like dolphins the way they swim past, but instead black not grey. So cute and want to take them home! Our guide leaves us on the island for a good hour or so, which is exactly what we needed and so so relaxing. Either of us thought we would be sitting on back in NZ, so great bonus. The island doesn’t remain our own island for long, as a group of sailing people come along and moor their boats, I think who are scouts so quite loud too.

As we start to head to go a more inquisitive seal comes right onto the beach and Swedish Ida gets a great video of the seal playing in the sea flipping its tail and doing tricks, then coming right up to the go pro to say hello.  Puppies of the sea with their big brown eyes!

Next stop after the island is kayaking right around the big island looking for the seal colony who live out on the rocks. It takes a good hour or so to get round and sure enough we see a lot of seals, some very playful swimming and jumping under and around our kayaks, which keeps us fascinated for a good while. We pass a lot of SHAGS, which look like skinny penguins and smell very bad as we pass “Shag Rock” where there are hundreds living on.

The view of the rock formations going round the island are cool, with us having to pass some big waves to get round that is a bit more challenging, but fun and there are some calmer bays we pull into as just as beautiful as the next. Our guide fills the time by telling us Mauri stories that are interesting about their gods and how they name a lot of the islands like Adel and Little and Large tongue. Also points out an island where penguins live and manage to see one on the way home from a hunt, although not very close up.

The last couple of parts are heading more in land to reach the river back to where the van is, via quite a shallow part of the sea which has some mini surf waves and a lot of high sand dunes. We actually get stuck going across the sand as too shallow and takes a lot of effort for us to get out again using the paddles to push away. The same happens on the river but this time time stuck by rocks and trees and we don’t manage to get ourselves out, so the guide has to come and push us out. After the whole trip we are both totally knackered with sore arms, but really pleased we did it as such a fun and scenic way to see the Abel Tasman, especially when the sun is out and you have your own personal guide. Not a common thing, but only due to it being down season.

1st May 2016

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