Adventures,  Travel

New Zealand Adventure – Wanaka, the West Coast and Abel Tasman

Lake Hāwea
Steps away from our campsite
Anapai Bay Campsite

Wanaka was low key as we spent the day wandering around the town and doing some grocery shopping. We grabbed our first meal since Queenstown at an Indian Restaurant in town and went back to our condo to do some much-needed relaxing and laundry. We left Wanaka the next morning to make our way to Punakaiki which was one of our longest drives of the trip. We made a few stops along the way to see Lake Hāwea, Fantail Falls, a Franz Joseph Glacier outlook and stopped at a beachside/roadside coffee cart for some much-needed caffeine. We arrived at the Punakaiki Beach Camp just before sunset and were able to get ourselves a very picturesque campsite. It was still a bit rainy but the location was just beautiful and we could hear the waves crashing against the coast all night. In the morning, we packed up camp and went to see the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes before making our trek to Abel Tasman National Park. I had booked us a campsite at Anapai Bay which required us to backpack in. As we hiked, we started talking about how early we would need to leave the next morning to ensure we arrived on time for our ferry to the north island. I should mention that nearly every drive we had taken at this point took about 2 hours longer than the GPS indicated. New Zealand roads are usually one lane each direction and many routes take you through winding mountain roads, so we were a bit worried as we had quite a few miles to cover to get to Picton and our ferry. When we got to camp and set up our tent, my anxiety about missing that ferry kicked into high gear and I decided that it would be best if we didn’t stay the night there. So we packed up our gear and hiked back out leaving one of the most remote and beautiful campsites behind.

Closeup on flowers at Lake Hāwea
Roadside near Bruce Bay
Roadside/beachside coffee cart with soymilk!
Douglas Bridge
Douglas Walk on the way to view Franz Joseph Glacier
Fantail Falls
View of the coast in Punakaiki
Otherside of the coat in Punakaiki
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Abel Tasman Coast Track

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