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After Nelson we headed up to Motueka. Our kayak trip took us one step further up north to Marahau. We checked in and got outfitted with gear. Our guide got us to hop on the boat that would take us out. Turned out the boat was just around the corner in the parking lot on a trailer. Once onboard a tractor hooked up and started driving us down the road. Interesting experience to say the least. Turns out the tides fluctuate by over 6m and the boat launch / beach didn’t work at low tide. Hence we had a tractor drive us down the boat launch, over a number of sandbars, and out to the ocean.

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The boat took us up further north next to the Abel Tasman National Park. After an hour we got dropped off on a beach in Awaroa Bay. They promised us kayaks would come soon and sure enough they did on a separate boat. There were 8 of us in the group along with our guide, Hanna.

Golden sand beaches.

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We kayaked south into the Tonga Island Marine Reserve. There we saw many seals basking on the rocks along with some very interesting limestone formations.

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This one looks like turtle’s head?

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We headed into Shag Harbour, a hidden inlet existing only during high tide. There we were greeted by a number of curious little seal pups.

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We stopped at Onetahuti Beach for a picnic lunch. From there our group split up with two catching a watertaxi back, four going for a hike, and the two of us continuing on. (The hardcore ones).

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The afternoon kayaking was more relaxing with just and us and our guide Hanna heading further south in the Marine Reserve.

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Arch Point, at low tide, is a popular place for people to have their wedding, under the arch.

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Mosquito Bay

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Hanna told us many stories of the the surrounding areas and their history. For example, Abel Tasman was named after a Dutch explorer who discovered New Zealand way before Captain Cook. Where he arrived the local Maori were having a ceremony on the beach. It is believed that the ceremony took place on a full moon and was performed to prevent an evil sea monster from coming onto the land. Abel Tasman, meanwhile, in order to show signs of peace, fired their cannons sideways. The Maori misunderstood and attacked one of the Dutch’s smaller ships, killed four men. Abel Tasman left immediately, never setting foot on New Zealand soil.

Bark Bay

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We caught another water taxi returning us to Marahau. We got back to  Motueka still wet and in desperate need of a hot shower.

Until next time…

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