At the end of August my wife Margie and I travelled down to Nelson for the first time in over 20 years. Even much longer ago, 40 years to be precise, we had our honeymoon at Kaiteriteri Beach which is around 45 minutes drive from Nelson and very close to the boundary of the magnificent Abel Tasman National Park. Knowing that our 40th wedding anniversary was coming up I thought, why not return to the place where it all started?
We stayed in a fantastic waterfront apartment Arrow Rock, which had a glorious view across the harbour and Tasman Bay. The photo below of a container ship entering Port Nelson is taken from the balcony.
The day after we arrived we drove to Kaiteriteri and the start of a full day out in the glorious Abel Tasman National Park. Kaiteriteri is one of the most popular summer beach destinations in New Zealand with its golden sands and sheltered clear waters.
It was a stunning late winter's day as we headed up to Bark Bay (Medlands Beach) and the starting point of our walk. On the way we saw young NZ fur seals and little blue penguins, but just watching this beautiful coast from the sea was terrific.
After a look around Bark Bay and the last remaining illegal 'squatters cottage' in the national park we started walking south along a section of what is at full length a 60km coastal and bush walk with the most fantastic views. We did a four day walk way back in the 80's and so many memories came flooding back.
It is easy to feel like you may be the only people on the planet during the off-season finding you can have the most beautiful of beaches to yourself. In the height of summer the track and overnight lodges along the way are 'heaving'. We were told it wouldn't be unusual to see 150 two person kayaks on the beach at Anchorage.
Torrent Bay was named by French explorer Dumont D'Urville during his exploration and mapping of this area of New Zealand in 1827. The Abel Tasman coast has one of the largest tidal differences in NZ and these estuaries quickly fill and drain with the ebb and flow of the tides.
Arguably one of the most beautiful bays and beaches you could visit. Anchorage is simply superb. It would be a great place to 'unplug' from the world for a few months. There is a very nicely appointed Department of Conservation Lodge overlooking the beach and this along with others is available for overnight accommodation for track walkers.
It was a truly wonderful day under a big blue sky and warm sun. We absolutely loved it and the sight of the water taxi approaching Anchorage brought it to a close much too soon. New Zealanders are often called the world's greatest travellers but all too often we are probably guilty of heading off-shore more than seeing our own country. I recall a marketing campaign many years ago with the catch-phrase 'don't leave home, till you've seen the country'. With so much awesome and diverse landscape and coastline, we don't know how lucky we are.
The colour of Nelson
Where did 40 years go!