Mr Tasman was a Dutch explorer who came across New Zealand some time after the Maoris but before the Brits. That is as far as my knowledge of history goes.  Anyway, a National Park was named after this chap (as was the Tasman Sea, and Tasmania).

Leaving Picton we stopped off at Rabbit Island on the off-chance…and found “big sky” beauty like I have never seen before….

A couple of hour’s drive took us to the town of Motueka , on the doorstep of the National Park but with its own estuary setting and its own shipwreck…

Our Airbnb was whole top floor of a house a stones throw from the beach.  Our hosts, Richard and Marilyn were a lovely retired couple who went out of their way to make us feel at home by making us tea as soon as we arrived.  This despite the fact that Richard is almost totally blind.  Watching him make us a cup of tea, warming the pot with boiling water first, the way it should be done, was amazing.  Richard suggested booking water taxis for the next day so that we could walk a stretch of the Abel Tasman coastline.  This we did, and an early start the next day took us to the Water Taxi base, where we caught a nippy little boat up the coast. We passed the Split Apple rock (AKA Pacman Rock…

…. and a seal colony before we disembarked by jumping into knee deep water and wading ashore.

 After 10 minutes of drying our feet and removing every last bit of sand from between our toes, we were able to start the 4 hour, 12k walk up the coast to the agreed pick up point.

The coastal path was steep and uneven, but, thankfully, heavily wooded so we had shelter from the sun.  Every 10 minutes or so we seemed to emerge from dense rainforest, and the shade of huge ponga (tree ferns), to be amazed by beautiful views of the coastline.

Every so often we would descend to beach level.

Eventually we arrived at our destination with time for a little lie down on the sand before getting our water taxi back home where a fleet of tractors waited to pull the water taxis up the beach on trailers.
 

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