From Wellington Tim, Marielle and I traveled to the Able Tasman National Park (located on the south island) by boat, bus and hitchhiking. It is not far in distance but it took most of the day to get there. At the park we met Daniela and Manuel, who were also spending a bit of time there.
We stayed the night at the Tinline campsite and set off the next morning. This time we realized how heavy our backpacks really were – we had to carry everything for the next two days with us. Tim and I have done trips like this before, but it was the first multi-day-hike for Marielle. Luckily we only had to cover four hours that day.
We spent the afternoon relaxing at the beach. I turned into a pregnant woman while Tim was buried in a short sarcophagus and Marielle was crawling around as a crab. Afterwards we jumped into the water to wash off the sand, but we didn’t stay very long because it was quite cold.
The following day was our longest hike. We had to book the campgrounds in advance and we were a bit late on that so most of them were already fully booked. We took the closest one still available, which was still more than 30km away. In the end we found out that the rangers are quite flexible and will allow you to stay at other campgrounds. It’s not a big problem because all campgrounds are quite large for the maximum number of people allowed at that location.
On the last part of the hike there is a big tidal inlet that needs to be crossed. We arrived early in the afternoon an were hoping to cross it around 7pm, two hours before low tide as suggested online (it’s safe to do so at low tide +/-2 hours). On the other side were people waiting as well, who started the first attempt around that time and were waist-deep in the water. When we went an hour later it was only knee-deep. We kept walking for two more hours before reaching Totaranui campsite when all the light was gone.
After a short night we set out early to meet my parents in Wainui Bay. It worked quite well and they arrived at the parking lot at exactly the same time as we did.