There aren't too many hikes in the world that start with a ride on a water taxi, but that's how our hike on the Abel Tasman Trail began. We boarded our Sea Shuttle taxi off the beach in Kaiteriteri at 9:15am. Our taxi took us past a tiny island where a pod of fur seals rested in the sun. By 10:15am, we were dropped off on the beach at Medlands. We now had five and a half hours to complete our hike to Anchorage where the water taxi would pick us up at 3:45pm.
It was a gorgeous day, 80 degrees and sunny. In our daypack were two large bottles of water, bug spray, sunscreen, and a delicious picnic lunch. There are no places to buy provisions and only one spigot with potable water on the trail. We brought everything we needed for the day.
The trail followed the coastline, rising and falling with the mountainous topography. Sometimes it provided gorgeous views of the water and the beaches below. Sometimes the trail led into the woods where ferns carpeted the forest floor and bridges crossed trickling streams. All was incredibly beautiful.
We stopped for lunch overlooking a pretty little bay filled with several kayakers enjoying the still water and numerous little inlets. The water was an incredible blue set against the gorgeous greens of the forest. We continued on the trail enjoying the views and the exercise. Our final reward was an hour on a golden beach where we put our hot tired feet into the cold water and relaxed in the sun waiting for the taxi.