Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kayaking with Seals in Nelson

One of the major things to do in the Nelson area was to go kayaking in the Abel Tasman national park. Super pretty area! Most of the access is by water, either kayaking in or taking a water taxi from the edge of the park further inland. We thought we'd do a day tour of the area with a guide so we could get the most out of our experience, especially not being practiced kayakers.

Overall it was pretty awesome, we saw lots of seals both on the shore of the islands we passed and swimming around doing log rolls in the water, tons of birds (Kiran apparently saw a small blue penguin, but Ryan and I missed it trying to set a speed record on the kayak (only hit 9.5kmph sadly, according to my Garmin watch)), and the highlight was probably at lunch on a small pullout called Observation Beach where a bird swooped in and stole an entire 6" sub, wrapped up in cellophane (sad), but hilarious as Ryan ran down the beach screaming at the bird to drop it and the bird took off with food as big as itself. Hope it likes ham.

Jacqui stayed back in Nelson... mostly because of Dexter, but I think she enjoyed the walk around town and sleeping in more than an early morning and 4.5 hours of paddling 20km!

They take us and the kayaks out to the water towed behind a tractor. A great solution for the low tide we were launching out on. Turns out Abel Tasman has the 2nd largest tide variation in NZ at 4 metres.
Kiran and our guide checking out the first island shore, Fisherman's island I think.
Beached for a small snack break.
A seal playing around in the water.
They got pretty close! Though we were told sometimes they'll play with the boats and climb up on them, that didn't happen to us.
Ryan peering out at the beautiful scene.
Sleepy seal is sleepy.
Loud seal is loud
Birds! These ones were neat... from a distance Ryan thought they might be penguins, but they're not.
Ryan and I sharing a boat, paddling in sync (or posing for a picture, whatevs)
Some neat shoreline caves we looked into on the way back
Kiran and our guide paddling around a little lagoon.
I said there were lots of birds!
... very cool looking birds...
Kind of a crappy stitch job by Photoshop, but oh wells, this was Observation beach where we had lunch and a lucky bird got a big snack.


  1. This looks fabulous. I absolutely love kayaking, especially those lovely ones you had with the foot peddle steering! Very envious!