New Zealand 2003 travel blog

Start/End of the Able Tasman - Takapou Bay

Abel Tasman Map

Whariwharangi Hut

The Abel Tasman walk is classed as one the Great Walks, but by all accounts is not too taxing as it includes leisurely walks along golden beaches. However, we decided to make it more difficult for ourselves by carrying our own packs this time..Fortunately we had booked bunks in three huts along the way, so we knew we had somewhere to stay each night, but we had to carry everything else we needed, including our food - no cosy resorts at every stop this time.

Anyway, at least it was a very short walk to our first hut. We'd left the car at the Tui community where Jane had been working, which was conveniently only a kilometre from the start of the walk at Wainui bay. Well, actually the end of the walk as we were doing it in reverse.

It was a steady climb up the track and it took us a while to get used to our packs. But soon enough we were at Whariwharangi Hut, an old workman.'s homestead that had been converted. Everything was pretty basic but well organised.

Once we'd bagged our bunks, we went to the nearby bay to relax on the beach. This bay was apparently the seen of a violent face-off between Abel Tasman's ship and the local Maoris, with both sides misinterpreting the other's greetings as aggressive, resulting in the death of four of Tasman's crew.

The beach was actually quite windy, so we decided to take a walk to Separation Point where there was apparently a seal colony. The track followed part of the route that we would use tomorrow. It was pretty steep and would be quite hard-going with packs. We dd manage to spot one or two seals lazing on the rocks.

We got back to the Hut to find many more trampers had arrived and the hut was more or less full. There was loud Canadian couple who were "entertaining" the others with their stories, and being typically English, we declined to join in and sat outside and cooked our dinner on our stove. It had begun to drizzle now but we didn't mind.

Later we sat upstairs and played cards, only to discover that the loud Canadians were the only other people in our room for the night. Not so bad you might think, except that we discovered that they were even louder when they were asleep. Snoring. Very loudly. Still, they kept the famous hut ghost away!

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