So, back towards Nelson, into Motueka for an overnight stay before leaving for the Abel Tasman hike.
Around noon, bused from Motoeka to Kaiteriteri. There we catch a boat to take us out to Totaranui (dashed red line). The first day was only a 4.5 mile hike, but it felt like the hardest with a pretty steep climb. 22.5 miles spread over 3 days (1/2 day, full day, and a 1/2 day). Staying in beautiful, historic lodges each of the nights.
Arriving in Totaranui our first day with a short 4.5 mi hike to our night's accommodations.
Our group was made up of about 5 Americans, 3 Kiwi's and then a big NZ extended family (12+) of parents, aunts, uncles, kids, and such doing the trip -- many opting to kayak the legs during the 2nd and 3rd days ...
A couple of NZ Pied Shags (cormorants) eyed us warily as we came marching up their beach ...
Quite the age range of the hikers ... the youngster holding mom's hand had some fascinating questions along the way that his parents patiently answered ... fun to eavesdrop ...
A quick hike into the forest and then back to our 2nd beach walk before "hell hill" ;-)
Still trying to get the "perfect" fern photo ... brace yourself ... many more to come.
Dawn on our 3rd day greeted us with dramatic clouds, but no rain!
Another photo from the third morning ...
Adele Island - a dedicated nature preserve that they have managed to eradicate all the invasive species and provide a sanctuary for NZ birds.
Abel Tasman Hiking Group
This group of hikers welcomed me into the group and we had some great chats over the dinners each night (me, Geoff (US), Darrell & Linda (NZ), Deb(US), Rainsford(NZ), Linda & Al(US). Photo by our guide, Morag.
Looking back midway through day 3's hike
Yes, another fern photo. They're amazingly lush and such a big part of the forest and NZ's culture.