Tramping away on the South Island of NZ.

March 13th, we are in Queenstown and it is cloudy. We are planning to do part of the Routeburn Track tomorrow. This is one of the 8 Great Walks in NZ, is 32KM long and takes about 3-4 days. We will only do one day and see if we can make it to the first hut and then return, because these walks are not a loop.

In the meantime some pictures of our walks in Abel Tasman National Park, the smallest but very pretty National park of NZ. Abel Tasman (a Dutchman) set foot here in 1642. The park was opened in 1942. We walked two parts of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, which is 60KM long and also one of the Great Walks of NZ.

The park is known for its golden beaches …
and its beautiful rocky formations, but unfortunately also for the many sandflies.
Too bad I did not bring my bathing suit to go for a swim!
Golden Bay.
The coastal track includes some tidal river crossings that can only be done at low tide. As we were a bit too early to cross, we relaxed and ate our lunch while watching the adventurous trying to find a shallow path across.
View of a river estuary from Gibbs Hill.

From Abel Tasman we continued north to Cape Farewell. It is the most notherly point on the South Island and named by Captain James Cook in 1770 because this was the last land seen by his crew as they departed to their homeland.

We made a beautifull walk of 3 hours along the beach with lots of driftwood, wetlands and dunes.

Oystercatchers.
… dreamcatchers …
On our way to Wharariki Beach near Farewell Spit.
sand everywhere…
Much of the scenery made me think of the Hobbit movie.
Wharariki Beach.
On our way back to Nelson we had the famous green-lipped mussels with garlic bread at the Mussel Inn. Yummy but I still prefer our little black ones.

From Nelson we went to St.Arnaud and stayed two nights at the Nelson Lakes.

Rotoiti Lake
The longest swing bridge of NZ, 110m, over the Buller River.
A beautiful DOC (Department of Conservation) campsite but we could only sit outside when covered with DEET. The only pest on the west coast of the South islands are the sandflies, which bite ferociously.

As much as I love the nature and being surrounded by it, the sandflies make it sometimes very difficult to endure being outside. James Cook was one of the first europeans to record his encounter with the sandfly as follows: “The most mischievous animal here is the small black sandfly, which are exceedingly numerous, wherever they light they cause a swelling and such intolerable itching that it is not possible to refrain from scratching and at last ends in ulcers like the small pox”.  It is only the females that bite and suck blood which helps them to produce eggs. The males are vegetarian. After some time you become used to it…a little..:-)

The fantail or by its Maori name Piwakawaka. They are not shy and constantly fly around trying to catch insects disturbed by hikers.
The New Zealand robin or toutouwai is only found in New Zealand.

In the next blog I will report about our trip from Westport to Franz Josef Glacier.

7 thoughts on “Tramping away on the South Island of NZ.

  1. Ziet er schitterent uit, geniet er van!!!
    Ciao, Guy & Vincianne

  2. Tof om foto’s te zien van Abel Tasman park zelf. Ik maakte er in 2003 een tweedaagse zee kajak tocht. Genoot aan een eilandje zee inwaarts van de vele zonnebadende zeehonden (die soms rakelings onder de kajak doorzwommen), van het azuurblauwe water en het kamperen op het prachtige strand. Bedankt voor dit moment van nostalgie 🙂 Eva
    (Eva Creten v Esko)

    1. Hallo Eva, leuk om jouw herinneringen te lezen. Soms wenste ik dat we hier met Sanuk waren, dan zouden we het zeeleven meer ervaren zoals jij deed. Maar nu zien we wel een pak meer landvogels, en Burnie (onze camper) is ook leuk. Elke medaille heb zijn kantjes Stefan

  3. Misschien een beetje laat maar een goede tip van locals tegen die vervelende zandvliegen: je insmeren met een mengeling van Dettoil en babyoil. Zelf uitgepropeerd en het werkt nog ook! Succes.
    Geniet verder nog van jullie mooie reis.
    Lieve

    1. Bedankt Lieve, ik zal het zeeeker uitproberen. We zijn nu in Te Anau en hebben al 5 dagen prachtig weer!!! Komende van Glenorchy en vandaag naar Milford Sound, het is een cadeau! Wat een prachtig land !!!
      We genieten met volle teugen!!
      Ilse

  4. Zalig land he!
    Ik ben ook in Milford Sound geweest, jaren geleden, mooi mooi!
    Kalenderfoto’s!
    Bedankt om mee te mogen genieten…
    Goe bezig, doe zo voort! 😉
    Liefs,
    Chris

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