day twenty-three: october 22, 2015: motukiekie beach walk + truman track + charming creek walkway

We spent the night on the side of the road at Motukiekie Beach. Needing to wait for low tide to do our first hike, we slept in a little bit, which worked out well due to our late movie the previous night. After several small stream crossings, we circled the point and these magnificent sea-stacks, arches and caves combined with waterfalls coming off the high cliffs down onto the beach. Without our trusty NZ Frenzy guidebook, we definitely would have never found this place.

With it still being low tide, we pushed along up the west coast to the short but sweet Truman Track. This short walk leads to a really cool cove with a waterfall cascading over the cliff into the cove. Most of the cove is wave-eroded limestone overhanging the beach sand. Super cool place to take a break.

As we continued up the west coast, we stopped at Charming Creek for a short walk following some old mining tracks. It was a pleasant walk next to a river with some old mining ruins and tunnels to explore. We were able to find a freedom campsite for the night right on the beach sharing the view of the Tasman Sea with some neighboring cows.

day twenty-four: october 23, 2015: drive to marahau

Today was a driving day moving from the west coast to the northern part of the South Island entering the Golden Bay area. With slightly rainy weather, we arrived in the early afternoon into Marahau and checked in at the holiday park and took a break. 

day twenty-five: october 24, 2015: abel tasman + kahu kayaks

We booked a guided sea kayak trip with Kahu Kayaks in Marahua. It was a pretty awesome way to check out the Abel Tasman National Park from the water. It was a nice break from hiking. :) I think I was expecting to be crazy kayaking the whole day and worried that Jonathan was going to have to do all the work, but it was actually a pretty chill and relaxing day. There were a total of seven of us, five guests and two guides. The lead guide, Hemi (pronounced like Jimmy with an h), was of Maori descent and had so many great Maori culture anecdotes and mythological stories to share. 

Our favorite was about the butterfly, pūrerehua, and the bird, manu. There was a pūrerehua that always looked to the sky and saw the manu flying high and looking so free. One day, he said to the other pūrerehua that he wished to be a manu. The others told him that if he went deep into the forest, there was an old wise man who could turn him into a manu if he asked. The pūrerehua thought long and hard and decided to go find the old wise man. He found the old wise man and asked if he could turn him into a manu. The old man asked, "Are you sure? Once you are a manu, I can't turn you back". The pūrerehua replied, "Yes, I want to be a manu". He so enjoyed being a manu, flying high and feeling so free above the trees. Until one day, he heard other manu talking nearby, looking down on the pūrerehua below, saying that they looked so free and wished they were pūrerehua. He heard this and started to cry. 

Moral of the story: The grass is always greener on the other side.

Oh and how can I forget! We were having lunch on a beach called Mosquito Beach (never heard why it was called Mosquito Beach, but lucky for us there were no mosquitos in sight) all sharing stories, when someone from another group told us there were dolphins in the distance. Hemi called our water taxi, which was nearby and we sped over to the pod. It was awesome! There most have been about 10, even 20, dolphins just enjoying themselves, doing flips, and coming out from the water. We definitely didn't expect this awesome surprise!

After our day of kayaking, we decided to eat at the Fat Tui, a small cafe setup next to Kahu Kayaks base. Hemi recommended the Muss burger, so Jonathan gave it a try. It's basically a mussel patty burger. I went with a more traditional option, the CowPat. Both were really tasty. An excellent way to end a beautiful day on the water.