Today was a wonderful day of sea, boats, beaches, sunshine, and hiking. All of it spent exploring Able Tasman national park (www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/abel-tasman/) The park was created in the 1942 in honor of Captain Abel Tasman, a Dutch navel explorer from the 1600s. He was the first european explorer to discover New Zealand. Through the perserverance of an individual, the park was created. There are no roads, electricity, etc in the park. Although there are some private residences, they have to bring in their own electricity and can access their property only by boat or by foot. It is a really pretty park with craggy peaks, golden beaches (yes the sand has a golden color), and highly forested with both firs and deciduous trees and giant ferns.
Sylvia spent the day on a kayak trip traveling up the coast for a ways. The rest of us took a water taxi, and visited a lot of the major bays and beaches, and had a little bit of a hike.
On the way we saw lots of birds, seals, and even a Little Blue penguin. The water taxi's are like large fishing boats and have 5 rows of seats. They are powered by out board motors. At each of the beaches, the back the boat to the beach and we entered and exited the boat via the stern. They drop people off and pick them up at the various beaches along the coast. Our trip took us all the way to the northern most beach on an exploration tour, and then dropped us off for a short walk through the woods and amoung the giant ferns to another beach. There we were picked up by another taxi which brought us back to the starting point at Marahou. I should mention the giant ferns are the same plant we have in the US expect they grow as big as trees. In fact they have a trunk that looks like a tree, with the fronds at the top kind of like a palm tree. Really interesting plants.
The tides here are very large in this area, upwards of 4 meters (about 12 feet) of tidal change between high and low tide. This morning when we left, we boarded the boat while it was still on the trailer and they pulled the trailer across the tidal flats (about a quarter of a mile) to the waters edge and launched us. When we returned, the tide was in and we used the dock at the sea wall to disembark.
This evening we went out to dinner. On the menu this evening was Goulash, Wild Goat, Leg of Lamb, and Stuffed Chicken breast. Really yummy.
Looks like no pictures with this post. For some reason, I can't seem to get them to load up. Pictures seem to be hard to get added to the blog. If I have better luck tomorrow night, I'll come back the this post and add some.
Meanwhile, look for more tomorrow.