Canyoning in Abel Tasman NP + rest day in Motueka

Monday 19/02

We wake up at 7am. The shuttle of Abel Tasman Canyons comes and picks us up at 8am.

From Marahau, we take a water taxi to Anchorage, with our 2 guides (Oscar and Scuba). It’s quite funny: we are in the boat on the road, towed by a tractor which brings the boat into the sea (it’s low tide).

In Anchorage, we take our gear and start walking, along the beach first. We quickly start going uphill, for 1h30. The track, in the Abel Tasman NP, is very nice, the views are great and the weather is good.

I booked the ‘Torrent River’ trip. It seems a thrilling experience; it has it all: jumps, slides, floats, abseils, zip line…

Before going into the water, we first eat our lunch.

Then the adventure starts. The water is quite chilly (13C). All the exciting stuff (jumping, abseiling, zip line…) takes place in a gorgeous granite canyon filled with extremely pure water (we can drink it), wrapped in unspoiled rain forest, inside the Abel Tasman NP. This is a great place for these canyoning adventures.

We love each moment of our afternoon in the canyon. It’s quite “technical”. Kids do very well. Our 2 guides, Oscar and Scuba, are fun and interesting.

We arrive back in Anchorage, quite tired. By curiosity, we checked the hut where we should have slept tonight (before canceling it due to the coming typhoon). It’s not bad; definitely much better than the ones in the Egmont NP (for the Taranaki Northern Circuit Great Walk).

Isabelle prepares pasta in the camping.

I work till 12:30am. I struggle to rearrange the itinerary. After many discussions, we decide to stay another night here tomorrow, to go to Nelson (by private shuttle) on Wednesday morning, from where we will rent a car. We will thus drive from Nelson to Franz Josef Glacier on Wednesday (full day on the road), in order to take advantage of the (forecasted) sunny weather on Thursday to go onto the glacier! It means many cancellations of previously booked hotels (some without refund such as the one in Nelson for Thursday night) and reservations of the activities in Franz Josef Glacier. The ‘heli trek’ on Franz Josef Glacier is already full; I quickly book the one on Fox Glacier. Let’s cross fingers for the weather. I’m also tempted to book activities in Kaikoura (swim with dolphins or seals; whale watching by boat or by plane) in order to make sure to get places but on the other hand I’m afraid of the weather… I now check the cancellation policy of the hotels and of the activities much more carefully than before…


Tuesday 20/02

I wake up before 8am. In less than one hour, I manage to get a reasonable deal with Awaroa Lodge (for a partial refund), to get the refund for the 2 huts I booked in Abel Tasman NP, for the bus to Nelson and for the 3 nights I booked in Franz Josef (Top 10). Most importantly, I booked also an extra night here, in Motekua Top 10. As forecasted, rain is strong (and they announce gale gusting 140 km/h).

Kids and Isabelle wake up a bit after 9:30am.

Isabelle books the transportation to Nelson + a car for the next 6 days (to go from Nelson to Christchurch, where we take our second NZ camper for 10 days).

It rains the whole day; it doesn’t stop. I work on the blog. The kids do 3 homeschooling sessions (quite unusual). We eat sandwiches for lunch.

Late afternoon, I walk to the Countdown to buy food to prepare a salad for dinner.

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