A Hidden Wonderland – Abel Tasmin – New Zealand

As you may know, I like to visit new locations, however if I do find myself in the same country to which I have already visited, I like to find new experiences and places to explore.

One such Wandering Memory was in New Zealand, to which I have had the privilege of visiting twice so far. My original trip was a whistle stop highlights coach tour whilst travelling solo and my best memories were all centered on Wanaka, Queenstown and Franz Josef. Interestingly when speaking to other travelers, they all seem to give similar responses. It maybe the dramatic scenery, incredible experiences or just the laid back attitude of the locations – who knows?

Anyhow, that trip was so good, I didn’t think there was much more to see or do round these locations so why return? Well upon our return we relived the joy of the experiences and locations mentioned but actually found a new favourite place. A small area of the northern South island called Abel Tasman, just outside Nelson.

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We stayed in a village called Kaiteriteri, known as the gateway to the park. It’s a VERY small village made up of a homes, cafes, motels and campsites, not what you would call a tourist hotspot. Although a very popular location around New Zealand the village has been successful in keeping its quaint, quiet, idyllic status (with everything shutting before 8pm). Oh what a fantastic location this was… Nonetheless this small quaint village had a gorgeous golden sandy beach, which led into a surprisingly glittering turquoise ocean.

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After a very quiet peaceful evening, that consisted of dinner, a walk along the empty beach and an early night. We caught the Wilsons ferry along the coast of the national park, and it was incredible to say the least. The boat traversed the rugged coastline for 2 hours, occasionally stopping at different locations to let walkers and day travellers hop on and off. The beauty of the ferry is allows you to do as much or as little as you want. You could just stay on the ferry the whole time if you wanted.

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We did the best of both worlds, taking the ferry all the way up to Totaranui, and then returned to Torrent Bay exiting the ferry. The initial cruise was very pretty, harnessing some great ocean views, with the occasional dolphin or seal thrown in for good measure.

We were in the mood for a hike and this was around 5-6 hours straight along the coast with some incredible views. It didn’t disappoint, the journey was primarily through the lush forest, traversing the coast line, with some rugged terrain. On occasion the track would delve into the thick forest to bypass a waterfall or scene of natural beauty.

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The beauty, the tranquility and the silence of the location was spell-bounding. I could not believe that such a location existed in New Zealand, I expected this to be the Caribbean or South Pacific – it was just dreamy. I must mention some of the remote beaches we found which rived those of Australia. The sand was so fine and glistens a pure white colour, while being surrounded by the lush green forest – it’s like something out of a dream.  This place is truly unmissable!

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Abel Tasman is truly a hidden wonderland, and I couldn’t believe I had not visited here before. It just goes to show that revisiting a country can be well worth its weight in gold! Now when asked what your favourite location in New Zealand is?  I have another less popular response…

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