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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

NZ's Abel Tasman National Park - Brief Budget Blitz

Abel Tasman's Split Apple Rock made me yearn for my kayak.
Split Apple Rock Beach was one of Abel Tasman National Park's
less crowded beaches, maybe because it's a 15-minute
hike rather than a drive-up.
Abel Tasman, New Zealand's smallest national park, at 87 square miles, mostly reachable only by foot or boat, is impossible to fully appreciate in just an afternoon (we were staying in Upper Mouterre, about an hour's drive from the park), especially on a tight budget.









The shore cliffs at Abel Tasman National Park's Split Apple Rock Beach intrigued.


Still, Abel Tasman National Park was too pretty to not at least try.

We ruled out taking "a great walk" -- that's Kiwi for a multi-day hike.  They require reservation (limited amount of hikers for their predesignated overnight stops - mostly huts), preparation (reservation, equipment, conditioning) and time.  

Doing a drive and some short wanders of accessible areas fit our financial and time budget.







Tractors and and water taxis worked together to make
New Zealand's Abel Tasman National Park accessible
 for those who could afford it.
We stopped off where the water taxis shuttle tourists on a bigger budget than ours, and did the short hike to Split Apple Rock.

The area is known for its sunny skies, and our time there was no exception.  It made me long for my kayak, as many were about and the waters were quite clear.








This crowded camping just a few feet from the street is exactly why we didn't stay in Abel Tasman National Park.
Most of all, going to Abel Tasman is a bit like showing up hungry at a great restaurant with only enough cash for appetizers, surrounded by diners, feasting.  It's nice.  Quite satisfying, worth doing, yet at the same time makes you hungry for more.

River at Abel Tasman National Park - a playground.
Location Location
This blog post was written about our New Zealand South Island mid January road trip stops in Abel Tasman National Park.  We are currently in Picton, South Island.  Tomorrow morn we catch the early ferry back to North Island.  We're working our way back to our boat Whangarei Town Basin Marina, North Island, (S35.43.474 E174.19.599) targeting a February 8th arrival for a haul-out in Riverside Drive Marina.  Since we arrived on South Island a little over 2 weeks ago, we've put about 3,000 kilometers on our car (over (1800 miles).  And that doesn't even count North Island.  We didn't want to sail the Cook Straits, but Abel Tasman and the Marlborough area did make us wish we cruised there.

Cruising by the Numbers
Last year, between December 2014 and November 2015 we sailed from Florida USA to New Zealand.  We will resume serious cruising when cyclone season ends in ~April 2016.