Our big adventure for the day was the “Heart of the Park Explorer” hike and kayak trip with Kaiteriteri Kayaks in Abel Tasman Park.
We were picked up at the hotel at 7:25am. I was a bit worried when the shuttle was 15 minutes late but we called and the woman assured us that were on the pick-up list, and they eventually arrived. After an hour bus ride to Kaiteriteri we were quickly loaded onto a sea taxi to take us to Onetahuti Beach where we started our 5.5km hike to Bark Beach.
Two small penguins were on the beach by the rocks as we landed too!
The hike took us about 1:45 with pauses for some uphill and photogenic sections.
As we neared the Bark Bay Estuary, we choose the longer high tide path along the beach so we could see the swinging bridge and a small waterfall.
Our guide met us at the beach at noon with a prepared lunch of roast beef sandwiches, apples, cookies and muffins. I even had beach coffee! We did a thorough safety briefing about the kayaks and hopped in the water for our paddle south to Anchorage Beach.
The day was getting quite warm, so we were quite grateful to be on the water in the afternoon. Among the beautiful scenery we saw cormorants and other sea birds, and the paddling wasn’t difficult. It was a bit tricky to get photos while on the water but with my waterproof camera bag, I was able to capture a few good shots.
On the boat ride back we saw a pod of dolphins that swam right under and past our boat. We also spotted some seals sunning themselves on the rocks and got an up close look at the famous “Split Apple Rock.”
The bus dropped us off at our hotel just before 6pm. We poured a glass of white wine each and sat out on our patio looking at the day’s photos and eventually booking a very good deal to both Inverness, Scotland and London!
For dinner, we headed to Sprig & Fern. Eric got a Scotch Ale and I got a small Porter – both were very drinkable. We split a beef, bacon and beer pie with fries and tried to guess answers to the weekly trivia.
I wanted to try another beer place so we stopped into The Vic Mac’s Brew Bar. We really liked Eric’s cider (fizzy and lemonade-like) but the porter had a weird aftertaste that was off-putting. We tried to sit outside but the flies were too annoying. Funnily enough there was UNC basketball (vs Oklahoma State in Maui) on the TV.