Abel Tasman Rocks
Abel Tasman rocks. And it also does the splits (see the photos above and you’ll know what I mean). Seriously though, any visit to the Nelson area of New Zealand should definitely include a visit through Abel Tasman National Park. This park, founded in 1942, is the smallest of all the National Parks in the country, and arguably, the most beautiful. The aquatic reserve plays host to countless species of life, including penguins, cormorant, silver leaf fern (New Zealand’s national symbol) and many others.
Many flock to the park by way of a three-day trek through the wilderness and deserted beaches, but we find the best way to access the area is by boat with a knowledgeable local guide. In particular, we prefer Rod Stuart, of Abel Tasman Charters to captain our visit. Rod is a rockstar (sorry)—he was born and raised in the area and knows the park like the back of his hand. A typical day will have you gliding through the waters on his catamaran, the Taranui, and then kayaking the beautifully glassy bays, snorkeling and then enjoying a nice lunch and a cold drink onboard as you spot seals lazing on the rocks. These rockstar charters are available on a private or semi-private basis.
If you want to kick it up a notch, you can add on a day with a local wine guide, where you can wine taste and lunch on the beach, or have a helicopter pick you up at the north point of the park to whisk you up to Farewell Spit for a hike among the dunes. Whichever you choose, it’s just about the best way to spend a day in New Zealand.
Mike is a rockstar in his own right. He’ll tour you right round Toronto in his Smart Car, and if you ply him with enough beers he might attempt the splits. Seriously though. Call him if you want to know more about these amazing rockstar tours.