Along with six other Brits we met up at Wilson’s Abel Tasman Guided Walk Office in Motueka in preparation for our three day guided walk along the coastal path.
Darryl Wilson kindly stopped by for a chat – he’s been operating the guided walk with other family members for around thirty years now and a very impressive operation it is. Prior to departure everyone is given a Wilson’s holdall to put their gear in for the trip and this gets transported by boat to the two lodges you will stay in during the walk, at Torrent Bay and the Meadowbank Homestead – so all you carry is a daypack with lunch in and swimming togs.
From Motueka it’s a half hour ride to Kaiteriteri and then on to Marehau to commence the walk. And what a walk! – helped by glorious sunshine, a brilliant guide in Garrick Ferguson, and amazing coastal views. Garrick was a master in his knowledge of the bush, the plants and trees and the Maori history of the region, and this greatly enhanced our enjoyment of the walk. Along the way we met up with the kayakers who were also covering the coastline in the same direction with their guide, Tim. We all met up for the first night at Torrent Bay Lodge where we were well looked after by Rob and Andrea, the cooks and lodgekeepers.
Our second day on the walk took us to Frenchman’s Bay and Tonga Bay, where we stopped for an hour’s swim and lunch on the beach, before continuing to Meadow Bank for snacks and a beer on the lawn. A wonderful steak was on the menu followed by a classic Kiwi Pavlova.
We took the boat out of Meadowbank on the third day, across the estuary, and walked through the bush to Totoranui. And on our bus transfer back to Motueka we shall never forget those magnificent colours – the brilliant golden sand, azure blue waters and contrasting clear blue skies. If you come to New Zealand, this is the place to be, even for a day trip – it’s definitely a must for all Silver Fern travellers.