This past weekend I was a bit of a rebel – I decided to leave Thursday night and travel to Nelson, on the northernmost part of the southern island with some friends. Did I skip school Friday? Well, yes I did, but I was getting a different kind of education!
How this came about was through friends that I met at church. I have started going to a church near the University, and I have met a lot of other students there. We had talked about possibly going tramping (its what they call “hiking” down here). We decided to go from Thursday night to Sunday night and spend the time tramping Abel Tasman, one of New Zealand’s nine great walks.
New Zealand has 9 of these “Great Walks”. They are known as New Zealand’s premiere tracks and infamous for showcasing some of the greatest beauty in the country. They are maintained to a very high standard, consequently making the experience more enjoyable and feasible for a variety of different hiking abilities.
Thursday night we set out, driving 5 hours and staying at a hiker’s hostel in Motueka. On the trip were myself, Nav and his girlfriend Courtney, and Sean, another American from the University of Canterbury. Friday morning we set out
on the track by 9am. It was partly cloudy but nonetheless beautiful. We finished for the day by 4pm and camped in Bark Bay.
Saturday we hiked for another 6 and a half hours before setting up camp. We got an early start and were able to have a relaxing day around camp. We were right near the beach and although it was cold, I still got to lay near the water for a bit! We ended the day by making s’mores Kiwi style (flavored marshmallows between cookies) and stargazing. Nav pointed out the Southern Cross in the sky. It is also featured on the New Zealand flag. Because we were so far from any civilization the stars were absolutely amazing. It was also unique to look into the sky because the southern hemisphere stars are different.
Sunday morning we woke up to frost! It was so cold! We got moving and completed our hike after another 5 hours, catching a bus back to the beginning of the track and our car. Sunday the was definitely the most beautiful weather and I got to truly appreciate the beauty of all the individual beaches. Thank you Nav, Courtney, Sean, and Max for a fantastic time!