Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Abel Tasman Running

Our New Zealand adventure started with an amazing trail run on the Abel Tasman track through the Abel Tasman National Park. I highly recommend visiting this park if you are on the south island. The trail is very well maintained and the views are stunning. The trail is very accessible since there are numerous water taxi services that will take you by boat to whatever beach you want to start at. You can run the trail back to Marahau, or schedule a boat pickup if you only want to run a section. If you wanted to be completely self-powered, you could kayak out to one of the beaches and have the water taxi pick return the kayak while you run back to Marahau. The map below shows you the trail with some of the water taxi stops. If you don't want to run the trail on your own, there is also a race on the trail in September. Our guide book had suggested that the trail might be overrun by hordes of tourists. There were a fair number of people, but they were well spread out over the ~50 km of trail and most of the beaches seemed empty. I started at Onetahuti and ran back to Marahua which was about 16 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing according to my Ambit.

Map of the park
Starting at the Onetahuti beach

Suspension bridge

Trail alternates between beaches and coastal hills

Well maintained trails are highly runnable

I can't get enough of the views

Islands and never ending beaches

Following the orange signs across the beach. Sections such as this are impassable at high tide (there is an inland alternative).

Kaiteri with Abel Tasman behind on a perfect day.

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