The amazing scenery of Golden Bay was matched by our home for two nights, “The Innlet”, a hostel that we highly recommend. It offers different types of accommodation and this time we treated ourselves to a self-contained unit with a bedroom, living-room / kitchen and bathroom, all together for 80 NZ Dollar a night.
Only 10 meters across the lawn is the main house with double rooms, dorms, the busy communal kitchen and a living room to socialise if we chose. There is a large lawn with deckchairs to relax, a hot spa down near the creek and the rainforest starts right at our porch. This place is truly unique with super-friendly owners. Dalia from London presently manages the place with a great sense of humour and professional efficiency.
Not too far from the hostel, various trails start towards the northern beaches. On our first one we got lost immediately after we started, ending up climbing over fences, being almost electrocuted and scaring the poor sheep.
One day, we trekked the northern part of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, the least travelled bit of this three day trek, which is one of the most popular ones in New Zealand. Coming from the north by car involved a long drive on a gravel road over a steep mountain to get to the entry of the track at Totaranui. This is why most trampers approach the trail by water taxi.
Nevertheless, the delightful hike through the rainforest and resting on deserted golden beaches was certainly worth the windy road trip. While we were walking this comfortable, well maintained trail, we recalled our hike through Madidi National Park in Bolivia. There, the guide was cutting the way through the undergrowth with a machete and mosquitoes had a ball. Miraculously we have almost not encountered an insect problem in New Zealand. If we had not seen the so feared sand flies on two occasions, we would think they are a myth.
Most people start this trek from the south, first taking a water taxi and then hiking and often kayaking parts of it, especially around the Tonga Island Marine Reserve with its seal colony and abundant seabirds.