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After finishing with our paddling, we wandered the wide sands of Bark Bay. Right on time at 3pm, we watched as our kayaks were expertly sported away by the staff at the kayak rental company.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Shallow Beach
Leggy Starfish
Stubby Starfish
courtesy JInnes
Kayak Reclamation
Loading our kayaks
Back to Base
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Bark Bay Campsite
Chilling at Bark Bay
Patient Seagull
Spacious Tentsites
Quiet Beach Scene
Bark Bay
Returning to the campground area, Andy chopped up wood and made ourselves a fine little campfire (Bark Bay is one of the few spots in the park that provides firewood and allows campfires, although only in the designated fire boxes).
Dinner, Bark Bay
After eating supper around our campfire, we once again relaxed for the evening. Pu and I decided to follow Andy and Andrea's lead, who earlier had walked along a section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track around the back of Bark Bay. We waded across the low-tide water in the Bark Bay Estuary to a bright orange marker that marked the low-tide route of the track.
Bark Bay Estuary
Low-water crossing marker
Brief bit of Track
The walk around the back of Bark Bay along the Coast Track was quite beautiful, and gave us a little glimpse of what was in store for us for tomorrow, when we'd be hiking along the track south, back to the park exit and the community of Marahau. The track was professionally carved into the soft soil, wide and smooth. Overhead arched thick native bush, crowded with innumerable numbers of the giant tree ferns that are so characteristic of New Zealand.
courtesy PChen
Expansive Tree Ferns
Waterfall Creek Bridge
View from Waterfall Creek
There were several picturesque viewpoints along the track around Bark Bay. I left Pu behind and walked a little faster, noting that the tide was coming in and filling the sandy flats of the Estuary. I wanted to get some close-up pictures of the flood tide slowly devouring the sand.
courtesy PChen
Waterfall Creek Bridge
Bark Bay Estuary
Bark Bay Estuary
Marshland Boardwalk
Thick Bush Near Bark Bay Hut
Flood Tide
I overestimated the tide's speed, and had to wait quite a while before the slowly-moving pulses of tide inched up the shallow gullies that snaked across the flats. There's something about tidal bores (or anything resembling them, as clearly this was too slow to be a true bore) that I find fascinating.
Delicate Symmetry
Flood Tide
Peaceful Evening
The clear, sunny day transitioned into an equally clear evening. Andy's fire both kept us warm and attracted the attention of some of the other denizens of the campsite - chiefly a group of young Europeans (mostly German, Dutch, perhaps Belgian, if I recall correctly) travellers. Their english was quite good and we chatted a long way into the darkening night.
courtesy PChen
Bark Bay At Sunset
courtesy JInnes
Campfire Chatting
Fellow Campers
Warm Glow
Jenn had lost one of her shirts on the beach earlier in the day, and we were all wondering who out in the wilderness would take such a thing. As the local ranger came by to check our camp reservations, somehow the subject of the missing shirt came up. The ranger said that he picked up a shirt matching her description, and that it was at the Bark Bay Ranger Station's lost-and-found bin. Sure enough, after a march back to the ranger station, Jenn returned with her missing shirt. Mystery solved.
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[ Return to New Zealand Home page | Intro | Hobbiton | Home Base North | Hawke's Bay Cycle Tour | The Taupo Area | Waitomo Glowworm Caves | The Rotorua Area | Tongariro Alpine Crossing | The Great Lake Ride | The Capital - Wellington | Crossing the Cook Strait | Tasman Great Taste Ride | Rain Day in Nelson | Abel Tasman Kayak and Hike | The Great South Drive | Aspiring National Park Backpack | Queenstown | The Routeburn Track | Epilogue | The "Short Report" | GPS Data ]

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