Since my decision to go to New Zealand was more of a last minute whim, I decided to join the Kiwi Experience bus for the help and convenience of the transportation, the knowledge of our guide stopping at areas of interest, and having companionship with my fellow solo adventuruers.
Our first stop was the Abel Tasman National Park. We took a water taxi (which is a boat) along the Tasman Bay to the destination. On the way there, we stopped by a curious rock formation known as Split Apple Rock or Tokangawhā. The granite rock dates back to about one hundred and twenty million years ago. The Māori legend about the rock begins with two gods fighting to posses it. In order to resolve the growing feud, the gods decide to settle on a compromise. They used their strength to split the rock in half. Therefore, the name Tokangawhā translates to “burst open rock”.
When the water taxi drops you off, you have to walk along the shore into the forest area. You’ll know it’s the beginning of the hike because you will be greeted by a beautiful statue of a Māori warrior with distinguished red coloring. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of the more popular long-distance hikes one can do when staying overnight. The hike itself is filled with gorgeous views of the ocean and, if you are lucky, you can spot native wild pigs and goats.
The last little gem that I discovered while walking along the beach waiting for the water taxi to collect us is a rock that resembles an elephant. It can be a little hard to tell but if you look from the right to the left side of the picture you can see a trunk coming up from the sand, eyes, ears and then a circular body to finish. I loved how distinctive it is once you focus on the details.