Day Seven: Abel Tasman National Park

Still based in Nelson, sunny Nelson…

I finally made it to Abel Tasman National Park, which is a place I’ve seen in many photos over the years in books I’ve purchased from my favorite New Zealand bookstore, Arts Centre Bookshop in Christchurch. While I’m not thinking that I’ll ever go on the multi-day Abel Tasman Coast Track because, let’s face it– I’m a bit pale to spend that much time out in the sun– I did want to see at least a part of it from the beginning of the walk. It was a bright and clear morning and the sun was just beautiful on the water.

Start of the track

Start of the track

Enjoy Abel Tasman

One of the first things you notice, after recovering from seeing the track and views themselves, are the rocks that people have arranged on the tidal flats just off the track / raised walkways / bridges. The water isn’t deep and various messages have been left for others to see. Often times it’s just a person’s name, but there were a few more general ones:

Seize the Day indeed!

Seize the Day indeed!

submerged message

submerged message

u rock

There were quite a few people out on the track, and I was surprised at how much bare skin was showing. Lots of shorts and tank tops. I sure hope they had on sun screen!!

I’m sure you can figure out what these are photos of, so I’ll just let you look for a bit until I get to what we did after finishing the walk.

shore bird

How many ducks?

How many ducks?

California Quail in NZ!!

California Quail in NZ!!

And yes, it really IS a California Quail!! They were introduced to New Zealand in the 1860’s and did pretty well here, reaching a peak in the 1920’s. We saw a pair of them wandering along the track in front of us. They weren’t particularly skittish, so I expect that they’re well used to seeing people.

There are SOME shady bits!

There are SOME shady bits!

Porters Beach sign post

Who left this one behind?

Who left this one behind?

Porter's Beach

guarding the territory

guarding the territory

bird prints

bird prints

rock "window" view

After finishing up the walk we wandered back toward the carpark and into a small artist’s community called Arts Unique. There are some very large carved sculptures around the property, and they invite people to wander through and photograph all they want. The legends associated with the sculptures are explained on their website if you follow the link and click on the “Gardens” tab.

Arts Unique entry

Arts Unique entry

Papatuanuku & Ranginui         by Ken Blum and        Woody Woodward

Papatuanuku & Ranginui
by Ken Blum and
Woody Woodward

Papatuanuku (detail)

Papatuanuku (detail)

Ranginui (detail)

Ranginui (detail)

Maui and the Fishing Trip     by Ken Blum and  Woody Woodward

Maui and the Fishing Trip by Ken Blum and
Woody Woodward

Pikea and the Whale          by Jeff Bryan        and Tim Wraight

Pikea and the Whale
by Jeff Bryan
and Tim Wraight

And just so you don’t think the place was 100% serious and cultural, here are a few goofy things we saw:

Two Moas

Two Moas

Boot as planter

Boot as planter

tree gnome

Although we hadn’t done all that much walking, it was pretty darn warm and we hadn’t stopped for a real breakfast– so it was time for a proper meal right out there by the start of the track. We sat a counter facing the water where the large windows were open and there was a nice breeze coming in. (Unfortunately the photo I took from the counter didn’t turn out. I’m still figuring out all the lighting issues with inside/outside photography.)

time for lunch!

time for lunch!

Park Cafe interior

Park Cafe interior

On the way back to Nelson we pulled off the highway and onto a small road to see if we could get up close to see this GIGANTIC Kiwi that was on the small slope next to a person’s house. As an official tourist, I have to see as many of these “giant” things as I can while I’m here.

Plaque: "Prowdaby"       World's Largest   Permanently Sited Kiwi

Plaque: “Prowdaby”
World’s Largest Permanently Sited Kiwi

It was early enough once we got back to Nelson to run into a local sporting goods store to pick up a long-sleeved shirt so that I can cover my poor over-baked arms up without overheating in my hoodie. The New Zealand sun is INTENSE, and the NZ skin cancer rate is, along with Australia, the highest in the world!

I’ll leave you with one more photo for today, the moonrise view from our deck. Full moon in just a couple of days!!

Moonrise in Nelson

Moonrise in Nelson

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Abel Tasman National Park

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Abel Tasman National Park -40.934685, 172.972155 Abel Tasman Natl Park / Arts UniqueAbel Tasman National Park, South Island 7183, New Zealand (Directions)
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One Response to Day Seven: Abel Tasman National Park

  1. Pingback: Day Twenty Three: Motueka / Abel Tasman on New Year's Eve!! | harehouse.com

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