If you want to do one of the Great Walks of New Zealand but Kepler and Roteburn sound a little too strenuous, I’d recommend the Abel Tasman Track, which runs along the north west coast of the South Island near the city of Nelson. Its definitely less taxing overall but there are still some steep grades. At least you will be distracted by wide sweeping views of the disturbingly aquamarine color of the Tasman Sea, which appears continuously.
I was going to post all the Abel Tasman photos in one batch but there were too many. These are from the first day of my 3-day trek, from the entry to the Anchorage Bay Hut. Typically Abel Tasman is a 5-day trek but I had to fast-track it to make my flight back to the States.
Anchorage Bay Hut is the newest hut on the track and definitely the most comfortable. It butts right up to the sea; something about hearing the waves at night makes me fall fast asleep even in a room full of other people. Or maybe it was the hike itself, who knows?
UL: Entry to Abel Tasman Track
UR: Frankenweenie, the travel mascot
LL: Golden Beaches, low tide
LR: Blue-green water, lone kayaker
Above: Anchorage Bat Hut and surroundings
Left: Driftwood Art, a common scene on coastal tracks
Right: Makeshift concert. Aqua Shorts harmonized like an Indigo Girl (crappy picture courtesy of my old iPhone5 and poor lighting, you’re welcome!)