Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Farewell Spit: a strange name for the end of the world!

After the Marlborough area, we moved west to the famous Abel Tasman national park. It is famous for its beautiful coastline, great weather, great hikes and kayaking. It is indeed one of the first areas of New Zealand that really developed kayaking as a way to explore its beauty.
We started our visit of the area by going to a place beyond the park, very much like the end of the New Zealand world, called Farewell Spit. It is this remote and beautiful coast that mixes big empty beaches with an air of apocalypse, with sheer cliffs straight down to the ocean.
Through a couple pretty short hikes we first went to fossil point and its deserted beach.

We then went to the fantastic Cape Farewell where we got to solve another challenge. The area feels so remote that it enhances the beauty of the landscape. The only element out of place are the few cows hanging out nearby.

What he said

Un-happy cow
Finally we went to walk on the beach and its many caves, arches and overall awesome, end of the world landscapes. The awesome part about this last hike is that we were looking to access the beach with the 20min hike that goes there. Alas, I don't know what we both had drank before getting there but we took the 1 hour walk that brings you to the other side of the beach. That ended up being a blessing because it gave us the opportunity to walk back along the beach, which was truly a fantastic little walk that we would have completely missed otherwise.

A lone tree
Finally getting to the far side of the beach
We surprisingly didn't find any pyramid there

As you can see, it was pretty crowded

The place really stood out for us compared to the rest of New Zealand and we really recommend you drive all the way there if you are in the Abel Tasman area.

A friend we met in the parking lot
Of course, we're like every tourist so the next day we went to the Abel Tasman park and rented some kayaks. The tour we booked let us hike the first part of the park for 3 hours, meet our guide and kayaks on a beach at the end of our walk and slowly paddle our way back, while taking the time to take in the nearby island, its many bird songs and sea otters.

Denise using the silver fern to dress up like the all blacks

Sea otter!

When I say 'paddle' I exaggerate a little since we discovered that one can sail, even while on a kayak. We probably did half of the way back that way and it was very welcome as sea kayaking is a lot more tiring than the good old river go-with-the-flow kayaking I've done before.

While in the area we also stayed at a very nice hostel that allowed us to fully relax in between activities.

The rest of the photos can be seen here:

View New Zealand - Farewell Spit in a larger map


  1. nothing to say, nothing to add, the awesome trip goes on :) Just wanted to make a comment to tell you that right inside a 2 days snowstorm, following your trip brings a real sunshine in here!

    Keep posting guys

  2. Snowed ~6" yesterday and today it's all melted, I guess this called spring.
    Really enjoying your posts. The arches make me think of the 12 apostles in Oz.