Just had some good news from a friend… he’s in the jungle… he’s not a celebrity so they can keep him 😉
…The day after completing the Routeburn Track we flew to Nelson and stayed overnight in a B&B in another lovely old house with a balcony over looking the garden and river. We explored the town on our arrival walking up the hill that is said to be the centre of NZ to see the view across Nelson, the harbour and surrounding hills.
Then walked into town to sample the local beer at the Sprig & Fern and then continued down to the centre where a stage was being set up for a buskers evening. Found a good restaurant by the river, had a lovely meal and chatted to the owner who had spent some years in Cornwall, selling Cornish Pasties, before returning to NZ. We didn’t make it back to the Buskers evening.
Unfortunately, that night Keith’s right knee started hurting and beginning to swell up. So not a good start to the walk.
Walk Day 1: Keith’s knee wasn’t any better but he took some anti-inflammatories and soldiered on. We were collected at 10.15am and taken to Motueka to meet the rest of our party (2 Kiwis & 2 Americans). And then taken to Kaiteriteri Beach at the southern tip of the Abel Tasman Park to catch the 1pm boat along the coast to the furthest point of our walk at Totaranui.
From here we walked for 3hr (with lots of local information from our guide Garrick) through mature beech and rata forests and along secluded golden beaches to the breathtaking expanse of Awaroa inlet where we crossed at low tide to the Meadowbank Homestead – a faithful recreation of an original grand family home. We had a very comfortable stay here with great food.
Day 2: Keith’s knee was still painful and swollen but with a few more pills we set off after breakfast, having prepared our own picnics, to walk to Torrent Bay. Walked through native forest with magnificent coastal views, along the golden sands of Onetahuti Beach to Tonga Quarry Beach where granite was quarried.
Then continued on over a forested saddle and around the waterfall trail to the golden sand spit at Bark Bay where we stopped for lunch and a swim in the crystal clear (but cold) water.
From here we walked the most varied section of the coastal track as it wound through shady gullies of mature beech forest, fern grottos and sunny groves of Manuka with stunning coastal vistas. We then crossed the swing bridge at Falls River to Torrent Bay Lodge after a total of 7hrs walking. Another party, who had taken the 5 day option which included some kayaking, was already there relaxing. An excellent dinner was followed by discussions on a wide variety of topics. Some a bit highbrow as one member of the other party was Professor of Economics at Havard!
Day 3: The tide was out so we could walk directly across the cockle shell covered sands of Torrent Bay rather than taking the longer high tide route. Then it was a fairly easy 4hr walk (with undulations – a slight Kiwi understatement!) to the finishing point at Marahau, enjoying panoramic views across Tasman Bay most of the way, stopping for lunch at a sheltered beach with views of Adele and Fishermans Islands. A coach then took us back to our B&B in Nelson.
That evening we met up with our Kiwi fellow walkers, Lindsay and Murray, for a fish and chip supper at another Sprig & Fern pub in Milton St which was a lovely finish to our walk.