We had beautiful weather for the trip to the South Island – as we have had almost all the time here so far. The ferry ride is known to be one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world, and we weren’t disappointed. Also I have never seen that many people on the sun deck of a regular ferry, but we found some nice spots to check out the view.
Once arrived to Picton, we set course for Motueka, but decided to take the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive from Picton to Havelock, which turned out to be a great idea. The road is narrow and winding, and it’s definitely not fast, but we were in for some jaw dropping scenery, and every time we turned another corner, it just got better. Beautiful blue lagoons with sailboats, spectacular views of the fiords, and even a nice little hike of 30 minutes midway to a lookout spot.
We arrived in our camp site late in the afternoon to relax and hang out at the swimming pool.
The morning we got up early to get ourselves ready, as we were being picked up at 8 a.m. by Kahu Kayaks. We were taken by bus to Marahau, which is at the southern entrance of the Abel Tasman National Park, to prepare for our half day of kayaking with their guides. We were joined by another family of 3, and the 7 of us were going on a trip with two guides, Hazel and Morgan. We had a brilliant time.
We started out in Sandy Bay, kayaking to the Split Apple Rock, while Hazel told us the story of the stone that has split in two halves, standing nicely next to each other. It was my first time in a kayak, and a very good experience too. We pulled up the kayaks at the nearby beach and were treated with great coffee with warm, foamed milk, and hot chocolate for the children – they made everything on a small gas burner right there on the beach. We relaxed while looking for seashells, and Hazel showed a high level of energy in a frisbee game with the kids. She made quite an impression on them with her dreadlocks and easy going attitude, and they were both great company.
We took it easy while kayaking back to the starting point, took off the equipment, and jumped into the water taxi with our feet still wet and sandy. We were quickly taken to Anchorage Bay, a beautiful spot North of a small peninsula, with lots of anchored sailboats and a gorgeous beach. We were hungry, and first priority was getting a bite to eat – the lunches Kahu had prepared were delicious, and with our stomachs full, we were ready to doze off at the beach for a little while.
Before we were picked up by the water taxi in the afternoon, we had done the short hike to the nearby Te Pukatea Bay and had plenty of time for swimming and playing around the beach. What a great day!