Easter in Abel Tasman

 It had been a long time since I'd been without wifi or my cellphone, so a tramp in one of NZ's most beautiful National Parks was exactly how I wanted to spend the long weekend.  Abel Tasman is New Zealand's smallest national park at the very top of the South Island. The Abel Tasman Coastal track winds its way over some of the most scenic, golden beaches and ridges all the way from Marahau to Wainui.   Warnings of Cyclone Cook threatening to tear through the Nelson region over the long weekend were a little unsettling. But we made the collective decision that it would all turn out fine.. and it did. So 16 battlers made their way to a backpackers in Motueka.  By Friday morning the weather had, thankfully, eased off a little and we started the day with coffee, bagels and hash browns. After a quick drive to Marahau we began a very long 24km walk to Bark Bay. By 5pm we were seriously grateful to those who had carried the goons of red wine. 

It had been a long time since I'd been without wifi or my cellphone, so a tramp in one of NZ's most beautiful National Parks was exactly how I wanted to spend the long weekend.

Abel Tasman is New Zealand's smallest national park at the very top of the South Island. The Abel Tasman Coastal track winds its way over some of the most scenic, golden beaches and ridges all the way from Marahau to Wainui. 

Warnings of Cyclone Cook threatening to tear through the Nelson region over the long weekend were a little unsettling. But we made the collective decision that it would all turn out fine.. and it did. So 16 battlers made their way to a backpackers in Motueka.

By Friday morning the weather had, thankfully, eased off a little and we started the day with coffee, bagels and hash browns. After a quick drive to Marahau we began a very long 24km walk to Bark Bay. By 5pm we were seriously grateful to those who had carried the goons of red wine. 

 I think the highlight of every tramp is sitting down around the gas cooker at the end of the day. I can definitely see the practical appeal of dehydrated meals, but there is something satisfying and exciting about making a meal from scratch over the gas cooker. I know it can be a struggle trying to plan meals that are tasty, light, filling and reasonably priced, so I've put down some ideas for anyone planning a weekend in the outdoors.                                                                                                                                                Brekkie               > Oats ft. chia seeds, linseeds, coconut, dried fruit, cacao nibs, cinnamon and cooked with coconut milk powder and water and with a dollop of peanut butter                                                                                         > Coffee with coconut milk powder & cinnamon                                                                                                                                                  Lunch                                                                                        Known for being the trickiest meal to plan, I went for...                                       > Slice of thick, dense rye bread or crisp-bread + peanut butter or an avo (if you can keep it safe in your pack) + sun-dried toms                                                                                                                                                Dinner   My favourite meal of the day.. I brought three different options along with me, because dinner is the highlight of the day and I wanted to make the most of cooking with the                                                      gas cooker. Soba Noodles were a great alternative to pasta as they cook in quarter of the time.                                                                > Soba Noodles + pasta sauce in a zip lock bag + sachet of olives + sun-dried toms                                                                  > Miso soup sachet + soba noodles + dried mushrooms, shallots or vegetable mix                                       > Brown Rice + spices in a ziplock (curry powder, chilli, cumin) + pumpkin seeds + dried mushrooms, shallots or vegetable mix                                                                           > Red wine goon or a pump bottle of gin (definitely worth the extra weight)                                                                                                                                                Snacks                                                                                    We ate enough scroggin for one lifetime, but it did fill the gap...                          > Scroggin ft. Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds,buckwheat groats, dates, dried apricots, cranberries, sultanas and dark chocolate                                                                                                                 > Peanut butter                                                                                                       > Peppermint tea (post red wine)

I think the highlight of every tramp is sitting down around the gas cooker at the end of the day. I can definitely see the practical appeal of dehydrated meals, but there is something satisfying and exciting about making a meal from scratch over the gas cooker. I know it can be a struggle trying to plan meals that are tasty, light, filling and reasonably priced, so I've put down some ideas for anyone planning a weekend in the outdoors. 

 

                                                                                                                                         Brekkie

            > Oats ft. chia seeds, linseeds, coconut, dried fruit, cacao nibs, cinnamon and cooked with coconut milk powder and water and with a dollop of peanut butter

                                                                                       > Coffee with coconut milk powder & cinnamon  

 

                                                                                                                                          Lunch

                                                                                     Known for being the trickiest meal to plan, I went for... 

                                    > Slice of thick, dense rye bread or crisp-bread + peanut butter or an avo (if you can keep it safe in your pack) + sun-dried toms

 

                                                                                                                                          Dinner

My favourite meal of the day.. I brought three different options along with me, because dinner is the highlight of the day and I wanted to make the most of cooking with the                                                      gas cooker. Soba Noodles were a great alternative to pasta as they cook in quarter of the time.

                                                              > Soba Noodles + pasta sauce in a zip lock bag + sachet of olives + sun-dried toms

                                                                > Miso soup sachet + soba noodles + dried mushrooms, shallots or vegetable mix 

                                    > Brown Rice + spices in a ziplock (curry powder, chilli, cumin) + pumpkin seeds + dried mushrooms, shallots or vegetable mix

                                                                         > Red wine goon or a pump bottle of gin (definitely worth the extra weight)

 

                                                                                                                                          Snacks

                                                                                 We ate enough scroggin for one lifetime, but it did fill the gap... 

                       > Scroggin ft. Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds,buckwheat groats, dates, dried apricots, cranberries, sultanas and dark chocolate

                                                                                                               > Peanut butter

                                                                                                     > Peppermint tea (post red wine)

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 After drifting off very early (around 6.30pm) to drizzly rain, our spirits were high when we woke to blue skies. Knowing we only had a 6km walk to Onetahui Beach (a quarter of the distance we'd walked in the previous day), we started the day off at a very leisurely pace. First a swim in the sea followed by coffee, oats and a good hour reading in the sun. We eventually packed up the tents, tidied the campsite and farewelled the neighbours to start the short walk to our next spot.

After drifting off very early (around 6.30pm) to drizzly rain, our spirits were high when we woke to blue skies. Knowing we only had a 6km walk to Onetahui Beach (a quarter of the distance we'd walked in the previous day), we started the day off at a very leisurely pace. First a swim in the sea followed by coffee, oats and a good hour reading in the sun. We eventually packed up the tents, tidied the campsite and farewelled the neighbours to start the short walk to our next spot.

 We arrived at Onetahui around lunch time, set up our next site and settled in for the afternoon. We spent the perfect day reading, swimming and exploring with only one setback.. the Wekas. A bold weka managed to sneak into our tent while we were enjoying a few reds on the beach, getting away with a few valuable items... including Holly's old passport and my journal. So if anyone reading this happens to come across these items out there, give me a call.

We arrived at Onetahui around lunch time, set up our next site and settled in for the afternoon. We spent the perfect day reading, swimming and exploring with only one setback.. the Wekas. A bold weka managed to sneak into our tent while we were enjoying a few reds on the beach, getting away with a few valuable items... including Holly's old passport and my journal. So if anyone reading this happens to come across these items out there, give me a call.

 All hope was lost for a brunch stop at the Awaroa Lodge when we realised we had to make the crossing by 7am to beat the tide. So it was an early start and a pretty dreary walk in the rain, especially with no time for coffee. Once we'd crossed the inlet in thigh-deep water, we had a quick stop for coffee and/or breakfast, depending on your priorities. We'd all forgotten to refill our water bottles with the early start, so there was a limited supply. We had to choose between making coffee or oats.

All hope was lost for a brunch stop at the Awaroa Lodge when we realised we had to make the crossing by 7am to beat the tide. So it was an early start and a pretty dreary walk in the rain, especially with no time for coffee. Once we'd crossed the inlet in thigh-deep water, we had a quick stop for coffee and/or breakfast, depending on your priorities. We'd all forgotten to refill our water bottles with the early start, so there was a limited supply. We had to choose between making coffee or oats.

 We made it to Totaranui at about 10.30am and it was teeming down. We huddled underneath the veranda of the camping ground office, changed into our dry poly-props and got the gas cookers out. Word's can't describe the excitement from the group when the truck pulled up with fresh food and a party pavilion big enough to house the remaining 14 troopers. Spirits were high and we had one helluva of a night in the Totaranui campground, I've never tasted G & T that good. We treated ourselves to a cold shower, put the tents up for the last time and settled in for the night for more gin and platters served on beer boxes. 

We made it to Totaranui at about 10.30am and it was teeming down. We huddled underneath the veranda of the camping ground office, changed into our dry poly-props and got the gas cookers out. Word's can't describe the excitement from the group when the truck pulled up with fresh food and a party pavilion big enough to house the remaining 14 troopers. Spirits were high and we had one helluva of a night in the Totaranui campground, I've never tasted G & T that good. We treated ourselves to a cold shower, put the tents up for the last time and settled in for the night for more gin and platters served on beer boxes. 

 For last time we started the day with a swim in the sea, had breakfast and packed up. The Aqua-taxi picked us up on the beach and we sped past the 44.5km track we'd spent the past three days on. Big smiles on the faces of every single person. It had truly been the perfect weekend.

For last time we started the day with a swim in the sea, had breakfast and packed up. The Aqua-taxi picked us up on the beach and we sped past the 44.5km track we'd spent the past three days on. Big smiles on the faces of every single person. It had truly been the perfect weekend.

 We made it to Marahau, walked the final road back to the cars, dropped our bags off and headed straight to the Fat Tui for burgers, kumara fries and mussel patties. I couldn't have asked for a better group to spend Easter with in one of the most beautiful parts of NZ. Special mention to Laura Braid for taking on the organisation of the trip and providing photos for this blog post. I couldn't recommend the Abel Tasman highly enough. Everyone that has the opportunity to spend time in this very special part of the world, should go for it. Without hesitation. 

We made it to Marahau, walked the final road back to the cars, dropped our bags off and headed straight to the Fat Tui for burgers, kumara fries and mussel patties. I couldn't have asked for a better group to spend Easter with in one of the most beautiful parts of NZ. Special mention to Laura Braid for taking on the organisation of the trip and providing photos for this blog post. I couldn't recommend the Abel Tasman highly enough. Everyone that has the opportunity to spend time in this very special part of the world, should go for it. Without hesitation. 

Charlotte Bell