Abel Tasman - North of Totaranui
Hi Folks. Putting together a Great walk - it's our first one since moving to this paradise 5 years ago. I am planning on taking my kiddos - they are good little trampers and able to tackle multi-day walks with ease - provided the packs are light enough! We will be doing the walk south to north, with the following itinerary Day Date Overnight Type Distance Time Thursday9-Apr-20 Anchorage Hut 12.4 4 Friday 10-Apr-20 Bark Bay Camp 8.4 3 Saturday11-Apr-20 Awaroa Camp 13.5 4.5 Sunday 12-Apr-20 Totaranui Camp 7.1 2.5 Monday 13-Apr-20 Whariwharangi Hut 9.8 3 Tuesday 14-Apr-20 Back to Nelson Hotel 5.7 2 56.9 19 So basically my question to those that have done the walk before, is it better to end in Wainui car park and take a shuttle back to Nelson, or do the Gibbs hill loop back to Totaranui? The second question is around the tidal crossings - I am not too concerned with the Torrent bay and Wairima estuary crossings as there are high tide options to get around, but with respects to the Awaroa tidal crossing, the low water tide table on the doc site (see link below) tells me that on the 12 April (my planned date) the two low tide times are 6:02 am and 6:35 pm. Given that sunrise is 6:55 am and sunset is 6.02 pm, I would aim to cross the estuary at 7 am. Does that plan check out? https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/abel-tasman-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/abel-tasman-coast-track/tide-tables/#apr-2020 The third question, has anyone done this walk at this time of year and if so, what were the weather conditions like? (Disclaimer, I am not really attempting to get you to predict the weather), just feeling out if its a good time of year for the walk? Also, if any of you have any helpful tips and tricks - please share - Totally looking forward to this. Thanks
Hi 7am will give you plenty of time to cross (you have 2 hours after low tide) its an easy walk across with water about knee height at most in places. I just took my socks off and walked across in my trail runners but if you had crocs or similar as hut boots they would be fine to walk across in as well. I've done it in late march the mornings were a little bit chilly but warmed up once moving but during the day it was perfect. If they are open stop in at Awaroa Lodge for lunch or dinner, its always a novelty to have a treat like that half way through the walk. Cant comment on the best way to get back as I have always done the inland track to complete the loop. You will have the best time with your kids.
Yeah agree steelo comments, should be fine re: tide on the crossings. April's probably a good month to do it, with some of traffic dying down, and every chance of decent weather then. Likewise when I last did it which was June (and still enjoyed good weather), made a loop with the inland track, but either of those way outs are fine, you get good views from Gibbs Hill. Do head out to the peninsular (forget the name) on your penultimate day rather than direct.
I did the Abel Tasman in February 2019 and came back to Totoranui via Gibbs Tk because I was getting a boat from there back to Marahau to get my bus connection back to Nelson. Gibbs Tk has nice views - and I’d already seen the coastal track views. Hint 1: You can send your bags by water taxi for every stage up to Awaroa. Cost $16-$20 per bag with Aquataxi - though you need to be taking a boat with them at some stage - I was taking the taxi back from Totaranui to Marahau. There is another company too. You can put smaller bags into one bag. This service meant that I had nicer food on the first few days. You do have to carry your bag over the hill to Totoranui, but the visitors centre there will look after bags for $3 a day. I did the loop with a day pack as a result. Hint 2: If you follow the signs to Awaroa lodge coffee shop from the main track, there is a short cut from there past the airstrip to the DOCs hut. Means you can have a cup of coffee or pizza at the coffee shop on the way to the DOCs hut without needing to backtrack to the main track. The coffee shop has a tide guide. If you have sent your bags by water taxi, they are dropped off at the jetty below the Lodge. I think you can walk along the beach after collecting them and get to the DOCs hut that way (double check this) - but I carried my pack back up to the coffee shop then took the shortcut past the airstrip. If you do take the airstrip short cut: after you go past the airstrip, turn right and walk to a small estuary - the track is very clear and there are signs. Then when you get to the estuary, veer right and cross over to the orange marker on the far side then follow the orange markers to the beach and along the beach to the hut. I misread the map and turned the wrong way into a minor estuary (twice). It’s easy when you know what to do! Hint 3 Wear shoes or sandals with backs - like crocs or croc copies or sandals with webbing straps to hold the heel on as the sand sucks at jandals. I crossed at low tide and it was still shin / knee deep in places. The shells/stones on the bottom are very pointy and uncomfortable when you land on them in bare feet. Hint 4: Since Totaranui is a public access campground there are facilities and the Visitors Centre sells ice cream, tins of spaghetti etc. I didn’t stay at Totaranui - just left my pack there and kept on going to Wharawharangi Hut (beautiful hut).
Why not get the shuttle to drop you at Wainui and then hike back towards Marahau? That's what I would do. I've done the whole track and north of Totaranui the track is fine but it's nothing special in my view, especially the last 2-3 kms. Regardless, for me I always want to end at my car or in town so I can get some junk food to celebrate.
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