A few weeks ago I spent the weekend with a friend hiking part of one of the great walks through Abel-Tasman National Park. I didn’t manage to do this on my original lap of New Zealand, but so glad I managed to get around to visiting. We hiked for 2 days and spent one night camping.

We took an early bus from Nelson to catch the ferry from Kaiteriteri which is a beautiful spot in itself. Then we took a ferry over to Onetahuti with running commentry from a tour guide which included seeing the Split Apple Rock which”closes up at night” and D’Urbiville island which was littered with fur seals. 

Ready to set off!

Split apple rock

Boat ride in

We set off from Onetahuti, however the ferry guide told us we were dropped off in Tonga Quarry, so we spent an hour going off track to find a beach which we were already on… Thank God the preloaded Google maps helped point us back on the right track! Once we were headed back off in the right direction, we had to leap back over a mini estuary which had started to fill up as the tide was coming in. I was lazy and didnt want to take my boots off, so tried to swing my backpack over the estuary before jumping over… But at the last minute I could feel I was about to let go at the wrong moment, so clung on… The bag took me with it and I fell flat on my face, some how dry on the other side of the mini estuary but given a bruise and a few scrapes to remember the comical moment!

Onetahuti beach

From there, we quickly found the real Tonga Quarry and continued our walk along the beautiful golden and iron stained beaches next to the clear blue and green ocean. 

Bark Bay swing bridge

On day 1 we walked from Onetahuti to Anchorage. The path was well marked and easily hiked in any type of foot wear. We then took the low tide track across the bay from Torrents Bay to Anchorage. 

Torrent Bay low tide track

Anchorage was my favouite part of the walk with the bay surrounded by green hills and the perfect beach. My other favourite stop was Bark Bay with its clear blue waters.

Medlands beach

The camp sites were well equipped, with huts also available. At the Anchorage campsite there was clean water, sheltered space for fires and to cook, wi-fi to check out the Abel-Tasman app and just as we were about to leave I found there were usb charging points and a cold shower!!

Our campsite for the night

Anchorage Bay

The next day we walked from Anchorage to Apple Tree Bay with a stop at the pretty Cleopatra Pools. The pools meant we had to go back on ourselves, but we had plenty of time. These were made up of large boulders, FREEZING cold water and a natural rock slide which, of course I had to go on. There was even an eel which decided to join us and the many other hikers for lunch.

Cleopatra Pools rock slide

Cleopatra Pools

Ater this we headed on down to Apple Tree Bay. Whilst we didn’t get many views out of the forest on the second day, it did mean we were protected from the drizzle. 

View on day 2 of D’Urbiville island

To get the best views of the park, the Onetahuti-Anchorage walk was definately the best part and is easily walked in a day.


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