The following video is from our campsite in the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand on the South Island. We spent 3 days kayaking, hiking, and camping in the National Park from July 5-7, 2012 during our "One Man, One Journey" documentary project.
The Abel Tasman National Park is one of the best multi-day hikes in the world. The majority of people that visit the park hike the trail in 3-5 days. We decided that we would kayak the first two days and hike the third.
The coastal areas have beautifully secluded beaches and coves that are only accessible by boat, which is why we decided to kayak the first part. We also wanted to have the opportunity to experience the trek from the shoreline, which is why we decided to hike the final day of our adventure.
While we were kayaking we saw a plethora of bird species and a number of seal colonies on the islands a few miles off the coast, which are only accessible by kayak or private boat. To only hike the trail we wouldn't have been able to see these areas at all. We also navigated into small coves, walked on secluded beaches, and explored sea caves.
The Abel Tasman National Park was one of the activities I had been looking forward to the most on our trip and it was well worth it. The weather had been a little rainy and cloudy leading up to our July 5 departure, but even a late night earthquake on July 4 in Motueka wasn't going to keep us from enjoying our stay in New Zealand and the Abel Tasman National Park.
Luckily the weather cleared up nicely and was more than perfect the entire time we were hiking and kayaking in the backcountry of New Zealand. Even though it was winter time in the Southern Hemisphere it was still between 50-65 degrees in the daytime and not much cooler in the evening and night.
We brought all of our own camping gear; tent, backpacks, sleeping bags, and sleeping mats, which we stuffed into our kayak. We also had all of our camera equipment to capture the entire journey.
Although there were a few mishaps along the way; high waves, pounding surf, exposed rocks, and seal attacks, we were able to manage our way 15 miles along the coast to our ultimate destination.
The entire trip was very enjoyable and brought great happiness to me when we were able to depart from our kayak for the last time.