Ready Willing and Abel

Abel Tasman National Park that is, and more ..


Abel Tasman was the Dutch explorer who discovered New Zealand snd Australia, but never claimed it or mapped it as much as Capt Cook. He named it New Zealand after Dutch Zeeland, and the sea between NZ and Australia is named after him. So is the smallest national Park here in NZ, up near Nelson.

And it’s stunningly beautiful coast and bush. There are many walks from 2 hours like mine (even shorter too) up to five days if you chose, with DOC stops along the tracks (Dept of Conservation huts with bunks but mo bedding, where you stop off or have to book ahead). Toilets, showers, kitchens etc help keep nature safe and clean, carrying your waste out with you.

The only way in or out on most walks is by sea, either tour boats, your own or aqua taxis which drop you at one beach so you walk to another and be picked up there.


My walk was over a 150 m high saddle of land between Tonga Quarry beach and Medlands Bay beach, via Bark Beach, which is gorgeous from above or on it!!

The boat trip out goes via the seal colonies on the islands, and we saw a few basking or resting from the five day eating sprees. Similarly there are penguins on so,e areas down the west coast too.

I did the walk, ate lunch on Bark, and explored a bit, in about two hours or so, and got to Medlands for an hour or more sunbathing (a bit too cold to swim for me but lovely clear green waters) before my return trip. A lovely day, with all walkers greeting each other as we met or passed. A mutual respect and understanding of appreciating beauty and the bushland experience creating a bond, as walking does (or cycling, kayaking, caving or boating too!)

Uncertain as I was about my fitness to walk, it was fine and I knew I was fitter than I have been and could manage 2 hours no matter what! As it was it was moderate indeed, and ups not too arduous and downs manageable if steeper sometimes than others.

Again, advice shared by others both asked for or not, which helps ease the trip for everyone. Im glad the guy told me the 10 min path was easier to Bark Bay than the short one signposted next to us, which was steep and maybe a bit of climbing too when I asked if that’s the way to go. He was just being considerate and helpful re my age and fitness which I appreciated.


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