Abel Tasman National Park

Got up and left the sleeping beauties in the camper just in time to catch the dawn braking over Totaranui Beach. Chased the birds for a while, especially the pukekos (the kids have fluffy toy pukekos and they have become a family favourite) but it's impossible to get any decent shots without a telephoto - they are just too shy. Pukekos have long spindly legs, bright red beaks, dark blue chests, white undertail and the rest is black. They like grassland and can be often found on farmland.

Spoke to the camp manager and he recommended he take the coastal path North instead of South as we had planned - the way South starts off with a bit of an uphill section, made harder by rerouting due to slippage after the storm. It could be a bit of a struggle for the kids. Plus there are less people going North and no boat engines from the sea taxis. Apparently it is just as beautiful in either direction.

So we heeded his advice and headed North. The kids did quite well but we didn't reach Anapai Beach. This meant that all we really saw was forest - unless you reach a beach you don't see the coast from the coastal path. It was quite late by the time we got back so we decided to skip Wainui falls (which also entailed a long walk) and headed straight back to civilisation. In hindsight I think we should have gone for the water taxi or tour option but we really wanted to walk for a bit and the little we saw of the park was enough.

We are now running out of time in the South Island so we are skipping the Marlborough region and heading straight to Kaikoura and from there to Christchurch.

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