South Island, Pt. 5: Coast Track

The Abel Tasman Coast Track. 60 kilometers along the North coast of the South Island, and one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks.

The Great Walks are so popular you have to reserve campsite space months beforehand. I of course did not do this, so I only walked the first leg of the Coast Track (from the start to Anchorage Hut). If doing the walk there and back seems daunting, you can take a water taxi back to the start, but I decided to man up and walk the full 24km round trip.

I want to try something new with this walk, so I’m going to make a second post where I break the hike down part by part as a service to hikers who might find this site via Google. This post will be focused entirely on scenery, views, and things that I found interesting; not on trail conditions.

As befits a Great Walk, the start has a large carpark and also a cafe! This is the carpark when I arrived.

Incidentally, this is the carpark when I left.

Even from the start we get a great view of the park.

And as befits a coastal track, there’s a lot of great sea views! The tide is out here, but the glistening sand flats are quite pretty. If you Zoom and Enhance you’ll see some beach walkers.

(Side note: the official name appears to be the Coast Track, though you’ll find some stuff referring to it as the Coastal Track. I will try to use Coast Track as the proper noun throughout.)

I was blessed with a clear day for most of the hike, but the recent rain meant that the trail was a little soggy. It also meant tiny waterfalls, so that’s a worthwhile tradeoff.

And of course the rivers are quite swollen as well.

Can’t fault the skies today though…or the views!

I do like it how the trail alternates between greenery and sea views.

I also like it how when I look out I frequently see beachgoers and, in this case, kayakers! Such a popular and cool area. And I can see why!

I almost wish I had booked the night in Anchorage Hut just because the views are so magnificent! This little rise is right before the path to the hut itself.

I sat down and ate lunch to this view. Not only was this the point where I turn around and go back, it’s also just plain gorgeous.

And this shot…it doesn’t even look real. It’s like a painting.

Wherever I pointed my camera, there was just stark natural beauty to take in. Let’s Zoom and Enhance this coastline just to see what we can see.

The blues of the water are just out of this world.

As I was returning, the clouds started rolling in. Yes, this is the same day as those gorgeous blue skies from before! I even got caught in a bit of a rainstorm at one point, causing me to put the Nikon in my pack.

That was unfortunate, because a bit down the trail I encountered a Weka. It was scarpering so I didn’t have time to get the good camera out. Ah, well.

And there’s the cafe and carpark in the distance! I felt quite good about doing Day 1 of the Coast Track twice in one day. I’ll cover it more in my trail post, coming up next!

Thanks for joining me on this jaunt out along the Coast Track!


3 thoughts on “South Island, Pt. 5: Coast Track

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