A couple of days after our walk north from Totaranui we headed south. This is the direction of the main Abel Tasman Track/Walk. We’d spent a few days watching all the people coming and going. Either heading off all fresh and keen. Or finishing up, a bit weary and worn. Either way everyone seemed happy. Surely it has to be one of the best coastal/beach walks in the world. We were only going a couple of hours – the rest will have to wait.
The Abel Tasman track is a beach-crawl, with hops over headlands to get from one beach to the other. There’s a lot to like about the whole concept. Sea, sun and sand. I just remembered how in colder moments on summer trans-alpine tramping expeditions forty years ago we used to joke about going to the beach at Nelson the next summer. We never did but we should have. Although maybe we’d have never gone home.
The track from Totaranui climbs around Skinner Point. It’s a stern start; the worse for recent slips/slumping that require climbing over. But it soon drops down to Goat Bay. Goat? Some of the names in the Abel Tasman undersell some idyllic beaches. Goat Bay? Mutton Cove! Yuch!
From Goat Bay the track goes round another headland to Waiharakeke Bay. From there it ducks inland over a low saddle to Awaroa Estuary. This is one of several places where the track crosses tidal estuaries. This one is a wide expanse and comes with lots of warnings about tide times. We got as far as the estuary and watched the straggle of walkers trudging across, mostly barefoot.
From there we retraced our steps, back to Goat Bay and back up the hill through the lovely forest. The new detour is actually a blessing.
Then it was over the headland, with a last overview of Totaranui. That night would be our seventh and last. It was time to leave; time to get back to the world.
Gallery of photos – Summer – 2013-2014
Click on thumbnails to see full size.