It is nothing to be proud of, but visiting the Abel Tasman National Park and completing a half-day trek along this “wilderness track” made me want to give myself a pat on the back.
As mentioned many times before, I am not the most athletic of all. I was the one whom pulled my careful friend to fall down a gentle slope (which she never fails to remind me). Regardless of flat ground or stairs, I have an innate tendency to fall. The most absurd ones would probably be those when I fell simply by standing still. Sighs…
Anyway, back to the Abel Tasman! If even I can do it, well… a kid most definitely can do it too (with proper guidance of course). 🙂
Here’s what you should know about Abel Tasman National Park:
- Established in 1942, this national park is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track!
- It is named after Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European explorer to sight New Zealand!
- Its mild climate generally makes it accessible at all times of the year. Nonetheless, I would recommend a hooded waterproof jacket, as rain seems to come and go pretty often.
- Despite its popularity as compared to other national parks in New Zealand, the Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest national park, covering an area of 22,530 hectares.
- Located at the top of the South Island, the nearest towns are Motueka, Takaka and Kaiteriteri, which are pretty near Nelson.
- Common activities in Abel Tasman include walks/tracks, mountain biking and hunting!
- For guides/commercial tourism providers, there are various licensed operators that you can choose from. Click here to find out!
- Summer is the most popular season for visitors, and you’d notice a significant peak in the number of enthusiastic trekkers! Winter, on the other hand, seems to reflect a quiet, private sanctuary.
- Like most hiking trails, there are limited toilet facilities. Those available at selected pitstops are generally a hole in the ground, constrained within a tight space. Manage your expectation well and bring lots of wet tissues. 🙂
- The tracks are generally easy to accomplish, with helpful signboards along the way. Comfortable hiking shoes are recommended.
- Keep a lookout for common forest birds, like tui and bellbirds, along with pukeko that can be seen around the estuaries and wetlands.
There are plenty information on the Abel Tasman National Park at Nelson’s I-Site centre. After being buried under perusing multiple brochures, I decided to go with Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle and booked the “Abel Tasman National Park Seals and Hike Tour”. Laidback and reliable, this is a tour operator whom you may wish to consider.
PS: Some activities/tours at Abel Tasman are not available during the winter season (i.e. kayaking).
PPS: Safety should always be the number 1 rule! Always inform someone reliable of your whereabouts (especially if you are travelling alone/in small groups). If you are “kiasu” like me, inform several people.
WAIT! I am not done yet. For a glimpse of Mother Nature’s beauty, check out the visuals of my Abel Tasman expedition here. 🙂
The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. Check out http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/abel-tasman/ for more information on Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand.