Posts Tagged ‘Abel Tasman National Park’

Tips for Touring Abel Tasman National Park

Monday, January 11th, 2010

For those of you who’d like a glimpse of kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park but don’t want to wade through last week’s narrative, here’s a mini-movie with the highlights of our trip. Just keep in mind that I only put down my paddle and picked up my Flip camera in the calmest of conditions, so this video really waters down the adventure we encountered at camp and sea!YouTube Preview Image

Abel Tasman National Park seems so vast and alluring, with its craggy coves and dense vegetation, that it’s hard to believe it’s the country’s smallest national park (about 57,000 acres). For anyone planning a visit there, I offer these tips and recommendations: (more…)

Our 3-Day Kayak Adventure Around NZ’s Abel Tasman Park

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

A slice of beach and blue around Abel Tasman National Park.

A slice of beach and blue around Abel Tasman National Park.

New Zealanders use the term “adventure” loosely to market pretty much any activity under the sun. I was skeptical we’d experience a true  adventure here, especially if it were safe enough to involve the kids, but then my lifelong friend Carolyn, who moved to the South Island two years ago, booked a three-day kayak trip for our two families along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. I had never kayaked before (unless you count an hour in a hotel lagoon in Hawaii), but how hard could it be? I had visions of paddling on glassy blue water and sipping wine with old friends while our kids played on a beach. Besides, we’re all old pros at camping. We were game.

Three days at sea and camping in the forest together seemed like a reunion too perfect to be true. We arranged to meet them on the Sunday after New Year’s. (more…)

Meals with Eels and Other Nelson Must-Do’s

Monday, December 28th, 2009

The garden setting of The Jester House Cafe near Nelson, where the food isn't the main attraction.

The garden setting of The Jester House Cafe near Nelson, where the great food isn't the main attraction.

A man I met in Auckland gave me this tip when he learned we’re visiting his home town, Nelson: “You really must go to The Jester, about 40 minutes away, because it’s the best cafe. Worth the drive. Terrific breakfast, heaping portions. And eels — the children will love them!”

He made it sound as though eels were on the children’s menu — a kind of kiddie sushi, perhaps — but a check of The Jester House website revealed live freshwater “tame eels” as a main attraction. It seemed as odd as a B&B advertising pet snakes along with delicious scones.

We put it on our must-do list and found ourselves driving up the Coastal Highway a few days after Christmas to find out if tame eels were an oxymoron or some kind of joke at this place called The Jester. (more…)