Blog by Betsy Carstairs

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Able Tasman Park, New Zealand

NZ mini sail kayak NZ Tas BeachNZ sail kayakThis is my 1st time visiting the South Island. I have heard so much about Able Tasman Park that this trip down under I will take a week to explore this provincial park. The 1st decision was whether or not to go with a tour company. After a lot of research I picked WIlson Tours as they seemed to have the most supported tour.  This was a good decision. WIlson Tours is the only tour company in the park that has lodges in the park so we were always treated @ days end with a soft dry warm bed & good food. The 1st lodge was a 6 hour hike through the park & across a estuary but was well worth the trek. The lodge was built circa 1850 & was completely lovingly restored. Our host Craig WIlson was so welcoming & his meals were absolutely gourmet. Our guides Pino & Dave were excellent & they made sure we were all taken care of on the trek. Safety was a key which was reassuring for those who were not as confident on the kayaking days. The 2nd part of the trek/kayaking was to WIlson's 2nd lodge also on the beach. Robbie was our hots here & although he was there to greet us, he had a high bar to reach in the meals & the hospitality department. Unfortunately he & his staff fell off the mark however the beautiful beaches, gorgeous waterfalls & fun to be with guides overshadowed the step down meals.
My favourite day on the tour was the last day when we kayaked into Takaka. Just as we were coming in from the Tasman sea we tethered up 4 double kayaks hoisted a make shift sail & when the wind caught the sail we flew into the mouth of a river we were aiming for. What a way to end the tour. Definitely a trip of a lifetime. 

NZ Craig W