|View across the Tasman from the landing at Bark Bay to the hills of Marlborough Sound, the other side of Nelson|
We wander along Bark Beach on lovely golden sand before setting off south on the track. There are a number of DOC huts along the way which is where we’d be sleeping if we were doing the whole 3-4 day trek. They have sleeping ledges and water supplies but no cooking facilities so you have to carry your own, as well as all your food of course.
The path takes us up and over a few hills and drops down to the coast on a pleasant meandering well-kept track. Mostly kanuka overhead with great views down to the coast and what must be the western edge of the Marlborough Sounds in the far, far distance. We have to cross quite a long swing bridge over a river at one point and soon find ourselves descending into a village at Torrent Bay. The baches here are big and luxurious and cost a small fortune these days as no more building has been allowed since the area was designated a National Park. We come across a picnic table on the beach just in time for lunch.
|There are quite a lot of these swing bridges on major walking tracks in NZ. This is quite a long one and was good and bouncy once you were in the middle|
From here the path splits into a coastal or inland route. As its low tide we naturally take the coastal route which leads us across the estuary. We’re following the orange posts as instructed but find ourselves having to cross streams and rivers. A&A take the quickest way over, just running straight through, and as the water’s a foot deep or more in places they get very wet feet. Mike and I take the more considered, elderly approach and remove our boots and socks before wading across. The water’s freezing but our socks stay dry.
|Typical stretch of path. Not much bush around but loads of kanuka|
|Looking down on Torrent Bay and the estuary we have to cross to get to Anchorage|
From here on it’s just one more hill to climb and we’re back down onto the beach at Anchorage. The near end of the beach has some wonderful weathered rocks many of which are covered in quite old graffiti and we found one dated 1740. We slowly make our way to the far end of the beach where we await the water taxi to take us back to Marahau. That evening we go out to eat at Jellies, the local restaurant, then home for a good sleep.
|The beach at Torrent Bay, the most populated part of the Abel Tasman|
|Old graffitti on the rocks at Anchorage|
|Andy and I bravely feed slippery eels at Jesters Cafe|
|Anne looking glamorous on the beach at Rabbit Island, posing in my sunglasses|
|Mist clearing on Rabbit Island|
Our last day down south, so we have breakfast and take a drive around so A&A can show us the houses they’ve been looking to buy. Nothing’s been quite right yet but the area’s good being so close to Nelson and the Abel Tasman Track, with the mountains behind. The rain’s clearing and as the sun appears we make our way over to Rabbit Island for a walk along the beach, before being dropped off at the airport.