NZ Journal Day 14 (11/22/16): On our last big day exploring South Island, Clara and I tackled an epic portion of Abel Tasman Coast Track, hiking from Totaranui Beach to Separation Point. Our hike started by crossing an estuary at low tide, then following the circuitous trail as it rises and falls with the coastline. The stark contrast between Abel Tasman’s pristine golden-sand beaches and rocky lookouts high above the sea, and where we started 14 days ago in the midst of South Island’s alpine region, is only fitting given the overall diversity we’ve experienced these past two weeks.

Clara is already without shoes just 1/2 mile into our trek, crossing the tidal estuary at Totaranui.

Pied Cormorant Abel Tasman

A Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius) dries its wings after a swim in beautiful Anapai Bay. This portion of the Abel Tasman Coast Track uses Anapai Bay’s postcard-like beach to span the gap between two sections of jungle track.

Abel Tasman Coast Walk Seperation Point

The view west from the perch above Separation Point is remarkable, with fur seals playing in the crystal waters far below.

Abel Tasman Coast Walk Seperation Point seal

A fur seal glides into a small rocky inlet for a rest after fishing for a while in the temperate waters. The weather here in Abel Tasman has been by far the best of our trip!

Abel Tasman Coast Walk Seperation Point seal bull

A fur seal bull is lurking in the rocks, not entirely easy to see until you get a little too close for comfort! He wasn’t too worried by us though, life is pretty good for a fur seal in this little corner of the globe.

Abel Tasman Coast Walk rocky beach

Not all of the beaches are sandy.  Clara carefully picks her way across this beach to reach the next trail segment in the jungle on the far side.

Abel Tasman Coast Walk sandy beach

Clara expertly navigating the perilous Mutton Cove. Actually, this is pretty much the most peaceful place we’ve been on our trip, with ankle high waves casually washing ashore bits of jellyfish and shells.

And we made it! The end of our hike, and the conclusion of our last big adventure on what has been an amazing tour of New Zealand’s South Island and its natural wonders.

Abel Tasman Totaranui Coat Walk