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New Zealand Trip Report

Day 9 of 24

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Saturday, March 9th
Kairuru sunrise, Abel Tasman Coast Track

I woke up at 7am to go to the bathroom, but I was soon running around for a different reason. I got a peek at the beautiful sunrise happening outside and scrambled to put my warm clothes on, grab my tripod and camera, and head outside to document it. I got some pictures, but made a mental note to myself to prepare my graduated neutral density filter and wake up a bit earlier the next day.

Kairuru sunrise

I tried to go back to sleep for a bit, but the peacocks were jumping up and down around the cottage, making a racket. I went outside and saw several animals just behind the fence. There was what looked like a sleeping dog, but turned out to be a pig. There were a couple sheep in the distance. A strong-looking goat was perched up on the fence, standing on its hind legs so it could reach the leaves of a tree over the fence. And a brown cow for good measure. Oh, yes, we were staying on a farm! They all settled underneath the shade of the large tree, as the sun was out (it would be partly cloudy later in the day).


Jean checking out the farm animals

After breakfast we drove half an hour back down the hill to Motueka to get some groceries. There was a good-sized grocery store where we bought stuff for lunch for our hike. Then we made the short 17 kilometer drive to Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way we noticed regular plantings of pine trees, perhaps to replace logging or to replace that which had been lost by fire.

We passed through Marahau, gateway to the park. As far as I can tell, the city consists of sea kayak rental places, and a speed bump on either end of the road through town. At the end of the road just past Marahau, we parked in the DoC (Department of Conservation) parking lot. There's also a small cafe next to the lot, in case you need some refreshment before or after your hike. On the other side of the street is an art store and a massage place, but we didn't visit either. Instead we started off on our hike along the Abel Tasman Coast Track.

After the hike, we drove back to Motueka. Along the way we noticed a lot of boats currently marooned by the low tide. I assumed they'd be fine once the tide came back in. In any case, back in Motueka we went back to the same grocery store and bought food for dinner. Since we had the kitchen in the cottage, we were going to cook. We had chicken, rice, broccoli, and corn on the cob. Everything was good except, um, the pre-made chicken we bought was rather dry -- probably from sitting underneath a heat lamp all day.

View from Kairuru

A closer look at the islands

I went up to the main house to settle the bill, as we'd be leaving first thing in the morning. Wendy Henderson answered the door. She told me that there were 4000 sheep on the farm, and that we could pet any of the animals we'd seen this morning -- even the goat! I would have been a little scared to pet such a strong-looking animal, but Wendy said he would have liked it.

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