191. Water Taxis and Abel Tasman National Park

Water Taxis and Abel Tasman National Park: I suppose the other sure way to know that you’ve arrived in a remarkable place is when you immediately have the feeling that you didn’t book enough nights. So it was when we rolled up to our hillside chalet in Marahau, tucked into the lush foothills of Abel Tasman and within a t-shirt cannon shot of the golden sand bays that dot the coast here.

Abel Tasman the man was a Dutch captain, the first European to spot these shores and receive a bloody reception from the Maori, who killed some of his crew before he sailed home without ever setting foot on the shore. Colonization fail. Abel Tasman the park however, and in particular the 51km track traversing the coastline, is a sight to behold; a string of gasp-worthy vistas across perfect lagoons that beg (chilly) swims, dense patches of rainforest where tree ferns grow tall and lean like palm trees and clouds like phosphorescent cotton roiling on the horizon. Kayaking and walking the coast track are what everyone comes for, and while this Great Walk has been well and truly discovered by Kiwis and Canadians alike, we managed a spectacular day hike between two bays – Bark Bay and Torrent Bay – that was peaceful and interrupted only by those million dollar views. Those views were entertaining enough, but almost equally delightful was the clever water taxi system that shuttled us to and from the town of Marahau, regardless of the dramatic changes in tide. And while the weather has been unseasonably hit or miss, we gathered enough sun break evidence of the Abel Tasman area to easily make it one of our favorite places in the world.

Photos, left to right: Sunset, nasi goreng and a screw-top Marlborough Pinot Noir from the deck of our chalet; swing bridge over Falls River; a water taxi pickup at Torrent Bay


  1. Anonymous says:

    careful, i know a couple who went to NZ on honeymoon and ended up staying for almost 10 years.