Posted by: Wink | January 27, 2011

A day of kayaking in Abel Tasman Park

The Awaroa Lodge is really a cool place – very rustic and remote, yet very comfortable. We have a king size bed, a deck in front and in back with teak furniture, and a nice bathroom. they turn the power off at 11pm, so you need a headlamp next to the bed to navigate the midnight bathroom visit.

We started with breakfast in an all glass porch (yes, the roof is glass too) overlooking a lovely boggy area. Then down to the beach (see below) to meet the kayaking guide. The kayaks and guide were delivered via water taxi. We were the only people on the beach, except for a couple who had just rowed to shore in their dingy from their sailboat. They were coming up to the lodge for a coffee.

After a short intro, we were off. There were six of us, plus the guide, in two-person kayaks with rudders. We went south, back along the coast we walked yesterday but seeing it in an entirely different way. We kayaked the length of the marine preserve that is an area of water off the coast of the park. The water here is just remarkable because of its blue/turquoise hue fading light and darker depending on depth and the deep tawny brown sand contrasts so gorgeously with it. The weather today was perfect and we had a nice breeze from the north that was mostly at our backs. After a couple hours of kayaking (we all made sure to visit the bathroom before leaving, Maggie!), looking at fur seals, pied shag (a cormorant type of bird), rocks and beaches, we landed at a secluded beach for lunch. Went for a swim and checked out the caves there. We had a nice lunch of quiche and sandwiches and brownies and soaked up the sun (wearing 50 spf of course). After lunch, we set sail! We rafted the kayaks together and hoisted a red tarp/sail that was held up by the rear kayakers who held their paddles vertically holding the sail on, while the front kayakers held the front. We moved along as a “raft” quite quickly for about 10 – 15 minutes!

We continued on, stopping at a waterfall and getting fresh water from a fresh water spring that emerged from under water through a hose that was marked with a red buoy. (Boats pull up to fill up their tanks). Many of the beaches have campgrounds and there are a few sailboats moored/anchored in the bays but the area is not at all overrun with people. The people that we have seen on the beaches carry no boom boxes, do not seem to be drinking beer, and do not seem to expect to be waited on; they seem to quietly savor and enjoy their time, leaving “no trace”. Water taxis run up and down the coast on a daily schedule, bringing people to beaches and campgrounds.

After a final swim in a lagoon behind a beach, we left our guide behind and boarded a water taxi back up to Awaroa Beach. Having showered, our group is having some wine and hors d’oeuvres out on a deck in the sun. Tonight we hope to go check out a glow worm cave!

Sent from my iPad



  1. It looks pretty much like paradise!

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