Located on the north coast of New Zealand’s South Island is a must explore area called Abel Tasman National Park. It’s named after the Dutch explorer who was the first European to discover New Zealand. We arrived in the late afternoon at our lodge, Split Rock Lodge B&B where the friendly owner, Bert, offered us a couple of beers and showed us around. Two thumbs up for this place already! Great place to kick back and enjoy the view.
The lodge is in a small town named Kaiteriteri. Bert and his wife Paulette are the sweetest people and will help with great recommendations for things to do and places to eat. After a day of hiking or kayaking, you’ll want to come home, open a beer, sit on your balcony and look out at the bay.
We then headed off to do some sea kayaking with Kahu Kayaks, per Bert’s recommendation. This was probably one of the best, if not the BEST kayaking trip I’ve ever taken! It was low tide when we started with our group so we had to drag our kayaks out a ways, and by we, I mean Drew (well, I did help when it was on sand, but hopped in once we got a few inches of water below the kayak!) There are tractors out on the bay to help pull kayaks in and out during low tide.
This video better illustrates how beautiful it was that day. Couldn’t have asked for calmer waters. Wish I filmed a bit more, but I had to start paddling before we got left behind!
Seafood around town is always fresh and delish. These mussels reminded us of a good friend of ours who went to harvest mussels one day while the rest of us were in class in college. He filled up two huge black garbage bags only to be swooped upon afterwards by a park ranger who took them both. I’m sure the ranger’s family had a feast that night! Oh well, se la vie.
Interesting fact: the Maori name of New Zealand is Aotearoa. It means “the land of the long white cloud”. There were so many days where the clouds were just laying low in one long white line. Not big puffy ones, or wispy ones, but one long white cloud low in the sky. So the Maori Aotearoa is the perfect name for this land.