Tasmania & New Zealand 2014 travel blog

"Split Apple" rock on cruise

Water, beach, forested hillside

Stream in the forest along the trail

The boat we took loads and unloads people right on the beach

There were quite a few of these starfish on the beach as...

Mystery shell on the beach--smaller than a chicken egg & very fragile

This morning we got up bright and early (7am!), got dressed and loaded a pack—-rain gear (it drizzled while I was packing), breakfast and lunch, and water. We then signed up for a sea shuttle to combine seeing the Abel Tasman National Park by boat and hiking.

We got picked up at the holiday park by a bus. The driver told us a little about the area while driving us to the boat. Used to be a tobacco growing area until the government subsidies ended. Now it is mostly fruit—apples, kiwis, berries, grapes, etc.—and hops. Facts for the day: the reason the apple orchards have ceilings of cloth is because of hail – doesn’t happen often, but a large hailstorm wreaks havoc on the apple crop. The reason one variety of apple has red drapery rather than white is because that particular variety of apple seems to ripen faster under a red gauze. The reason rows of apple trees have a crabapple at the end is not because anyone wants the crabapples, but because crabapples blossom earlier than regular apple varieties – so the crabapple blossoms attract pollinators who will be there in numbers when the apple trees flower. And the reason rows of grapes often have a rose bush at the end is because (wait for it): roses and grapes have many of the same diseases only roses are affected sooner. Hence the roses are canaries in the coal mine telling grape growers when they need to treat their vines. The roses also look pretty.

Our boat took us up the coast, dropping people at various places. We saw some fur seals and some pied cormorants. On the way back down it dropped us at Torrent Bay, and we hiked down to the next stop – approximately 6 kilometers. It was supposed to be about a 2 ¼ hour hike—took us 3 ¼ hours.

We had planned to stop about halfway and eat the lunch I had packed. But there was no place to sit and eat there, and too many people – can’t really sit with legs and poles sticking out on a one person path. So we kept on hiking, but we were really getting overtired. Also running out of energy from our skimpy breakfast. Also the trail had a lot more up and down (mostly up) than we expected. But we made it to the pickup point—a beach, with time to spare. We might have eaten our sandwiches there, but we were out of water.

Despite the challenges, it was a nice hike on a very nice day. We were a little overdressed (undershirt and outer shirt) but we coped by thinking of weather at home. ☺

Anyway, we saw parts of Abel Tasman park we could not have seen from a car, and Larry got a day off from driving. We got picked up by our boat, came back to port, and got bussed back to the park. We signed up for another night here, finally ate our lunch, and are ready for a nap—it is 6 pm!

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