David Johnson's Travel Blog
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New Zealand 2016
10/30   Right is Left
10/31   Omeru Scenic Reserve
11/01   Omamari Beach
11/02   Waipoua Forest
11/03   Mail Boxes and a Magic Orange
11/04   Cape Reinga
11/05   Ninety Mile Beach
11/06   Haruru Falls
11/07   Russell Forest
11/08   Bus and Ferry
11/09   Thames
11/11   Castle Rock
11/12   Hot Water Beach
11/13   Owharoa Falls
11/14   Thompson's Track
11/15   Rotorua
11/17   Rotorua Rain
11/18   Haku Falls
11/19   Pureora Forest Park
11/20   Waitomo Glowworm Caves
11/21   Marokopa
11/22   New Plymouth
11/25   Pukeiti Rain Forest
11/26   Boring Highway 3
11/27   Boring Highway 1
11/29   Switching Gears
11/30   Hitchhikie
12/01   Abel Tasman National Park
12/02   Rawhiti Cave
12/03   Mount Robert
12/04   Glaciers
12/05   Mount Aspiring
12/06   Milford Sound
12/07   Stirling Point
12/08   The Catlins
12/09   Tunnel Beach
12/10   Sandfly Beach
12/11   Mount Cook
12/12   Cave Stream
12/14   Long Day Home
Kayak Trip 2017

Abel Tasman National Park

2016-12-01

tl;dr: I hiked a small portion of Abel Tasman and also Aorere Goldfields Track.

There was a "BBQ" area near my tent and people were banging pots together even after it got dark. So I picked up my whole tent and carried it to the far end of the campground between some RVs where I wasn't supposed to be. It was a little quieter there.

I was packed up and gone long before sunrise. I drove a few hundred meters to park at one of the Abel Tasman National Park carparks. Nobody was there. Nobody was on the trails I took for the first few hours. It was great. On my way back I could see the water taxis coming and I started meeting hoards of tramping schoolgirls (not a slur). I know I've been here a while, because the tourists walking on the right (as opposed to left) side of the trail bug me.

The route I chose was a loop to Cleopatras Pool. I don't know the distance, but I hiked hard and fast for six hours. I have a lot of leg muscle built up from all of that biking.

Back to the car I drove north a couple hours to get to Aorere Goldfields Track. Near the end I picked up a local named Tony. He was an older, lanky kiwi and a pleasant enough guy. I understood only about half of what he said. He just needed a ride into Colingwood to the grocery store. It was a little out of my way, but I dropped him off.

Aorere Goldfields Track has two caves you can climb into, but it is quite the hike to get to them. Stafford's Cave requires some climbing to get down into. Somebody was kind enough to fasten a rope to help with that. Now I had proper shoes and an extra torch, so in I went. I only went maybe sixty meters into the cave, but when I shut the lights off it was pitch black. There were a few glowworms to see.

Ballroom Cave was easier to enter and possibly bigger, but not nearly as long.

My new shoes are no longer clean.

I considered staying at a hostel in Takaka but settled for another lame campground. My camera battery was dead, so I plugged the charger in at their kitchen. The smoke escaped from the battery charger. And the power was now gone for the entire kitchen building. Flipping the breakers didn't fix it. Eventually an electician had to come. I felt bad about that.

I think I was driving along in this hire car and my budget flew right out the window.

good morning New Zealand




hiking trail


These traps are placed almost every 100 meters along the tracks.








I found a dragonfly.




Cleopatras Pool


Cleopatras Pool


Here come the water taxis full of tourists.




Simonet Creek




There's those birds again.


weka


lots of hops and grapes growing here




sheep


from Aorere Goldfields Track


Stafford's Cave


a handy rope


inside Stafford's Cave


a slight waterfall




leaving Stafford's Cave


a cave crayfish


Ballroom Cave


inside Ballroom Cave




a few beehives


Devils Boots Road. Excellent road name. 9 out of 10. 10 out of 10 with rice.

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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