Friday, 20 March 2009

Abel Tasman National Park

Named after the Dutch explorer who first anchored his ship here, the Abel Tasman National Park has some great coastline. The hour-long walk to the first beach tired Andy out sufficiently to merit a 30-minute nap. The shock of seeing a spider on the path didn't help either.

The goal of our walk was Separation Point, known for its seals. We didn't see any until Andy almost stumbled into this one, sleeping in its flax hideout. The bird life was pretty good too. While we were watching a seal pup, this gull got quite friendly. We also woke up some oyster-catchers which were sleeping on the beach. In the evening sun, we heard a collection of birds in the jungle canopy – here's a montage for your enjoyment.

We regretted not filling up our fuel in the morning and were caught out in Takaka. All the petrol stations were closed and didn't accept our card in the 24-hour machine. At least the fish and chips were good! An air of tension filled the car as we eased it over Takaka Hill and coasted down the far side to Motueka (note to self – the engine needs to be running for the power steering to work – a handy tip for winding roads). With the fuel light on, we glided into town and a petrol station that was still open.

A late night drive to Picton then ensued, passing numerous possums on the side of the road. They weren't scared and looked like the fancied their chances against our car. The abundant possum road-kill suggests it isn't a fair fight.

Armed with pies and pastries, we caught the lunchtime ferry on Friday. We were sad to be leaving the South Island but looking forward to catching up with friends in Wellington.

Read our Greymouth to Farewell Spit posting.