This weekend I was very lucky to spend some time kayaking on the Abel Tasman and saw a LOT of seals. New Zealand is one of the richest marine mammal environments on earth – but unless you’re down in the Catlins or in Kaikoura, it’s difficult to guarantee that you’ll get to see more than bird life. That’s where the Abel Tasman bucks the trend! This National Park is located in the top of the South Island and features idyllic white sandy beaches for miles. Its a wildlife haven, and an adventurers playground.
We had a friend visiting from Auckland and decided to hire some kayaks from Marahau Sea Kayaks for a half day freedom tour around the park. This meant that we wouldn’t have a guide and would be free to go at our own pace. This suited us as we had to get our friend back to Nelson by 4pm for a flight back to Auckland. MSK were great – despite us not using a guide we were given an hour long safety briefing which taught me so much – and made our friend feel really comfortable about her first ever kayaking experience.
We made our way out on to the water and headed straight for Adele Island. We had been told that the seals were hanging out there – with their seal pups. Cute! It took about an hour for us to row out to the Island in our Eco Nizh Dual kayak and Steve in his Mission Contour single kayak. This was an awesome little craft to go out on – with lots of well sealed storage for cameras, equipment and all important snacks for the journey! I was also able to easily clip on my Hydrate M8 for easy refreshment throughout the journey. Kayaking can be exhausting, and if the sun is out you can quickly become exhausted and dehydrated, so it was good to have everything to hand.
Arriving at Adele Island, we saw our first seal, just chilling out on a rock, and then two gorgeous pups playing in a small cave on the island. Just around the corner we saw numerous seals and pups just frolicking in the water. We were spoilt for choice! At this point I must mention that out of respect for the seals and in accordance with the Department of Conservations guidelines, we stayed 20 metres from the seals to ensure they didn’t feel threatened – especially as they were still rearing their young.
After our epic kayak adventure we made our way to the Fat Tui for a well deserved lunch. I had heard very good things – and someone had even called it the best burger joint in NZ!! It didn’t disappoint. I went for the veggie burger and Steve went for the Bullseye. As you can see, he was pretty happy!!
It was a great way to round off an awesome day. I would like to return with my Go Pro and get some more shots of the seals – so watch this space!
Thanks for reading. Can’t wait to post about our next adventure!