Here's the low-tide beach where we're camping. (I should re-name this blog 1000 NZ Beaches.)
We're backing into this story by way of breakfast: organic greens, onion, ginger, beets, chicken, and a hard-boiled egg.
So anyway, the drive. Once you get past Wainui Falls (which we never saw because of the rock-bashed bridge) it's twisty gravel roads all the way. Sometimes studded with felled rock and often pooled with water. You climb ever higher along hairpin turns.
Via Art's dashcam (click here to view vid if reading in email), it's a fun ride...if you don't look over the edge.
Entrance to the Totaranui campgrounds, virtually empty this time of year.
A closer look at the green-growth blobs on the trees. Symbiotic plant or spring growth? I vote the former.
This place will be hoppin' in a couple of months.
Sign on camp bulletin board.
The beach, just steps away, is the star of Totaranui.
Spring blossoming tree. Even on a cloudy day, we can feel summer approaching.
Next we're back on the gravel heading south to the Awaroa Inlet.
Some good conservation work here. Janszoon is Abel Tasman's middle name.
Walking down to the Awaroa Inlet, part of the Abel Tasman Great Walk.
When this tide is out, hikers aim for that orange dot and then around the bush in the distance to the overnight hut.
A zoom-lens view across the inlet at the DOC hut that welcomes Abel Tasman hikers, or at least those with a booking. These huts, scattered along each of the Great Walks, are in peak demand during summer. The NZ government just announced a doubling of Great Walk hut fees for international visitors, much of it going toward a predator-free NZ. More here.
Even though we're practically buried in NZ maps, it wasn't until we investigated further that we realized the Awaroa Inlet shown here at high tide is just a stone's throw from Arawoa Bay, which we hiked to in April from the other direction.
Arawoa Bay is just around the bend on this map, which shows the dotted line where hikers traverse the inlet at low tide.
This all means more to us than to you, but it was a full-circle feeling. April to August, closing the loop. Back in the Rover, we 're heading back to camp.
Gosh, this is beautiful country.