by Siobhan File
In November I’m going down to Nelson for a week with work and thought that while I’m down there, I should attempt my first proper Great Walk at the end of the trip (with the Abel Tasman Coast Track). I say proper because I’ve done bits before, but I was helicoptered to those places and met my bag and a chilli bin of food at the huts, rather than having to carry it myself… don’t judge me.
So, I rallied a group of friends together last Saturday night while we were all out at dinner. Everyone was super keen, but over the week it’s dwindled from six of us, to four of us, to now just me and my boyfriend who’s going to meet me on the Friday.
After stuffing up my hut bookings (which the visitor centre staff were very nice about), we’ve locked in Anchorage Hut for Friday night and Awaroa Hut for Saturday night. We’ll then catch an aqua taxi back from Totaranui on Sunday afternoon to fly back to Wellington.
So that’s a big day of walking on the Saturday. I hope I don’t get blisters or a sore back from my pack.
Some other things I am currently worried about include:
- What am I going to wear? The DOC website says wool or fleece clothing, but even in November? Isn’t Nelson the sunniest spot in New Zealand? I’m not sure what tramping attire really is.
- Will my running shoes be ok? I don’t think I’ll be able to fit big fluffy socks into them…
- The website also says ‘a portable stove will be needed’. I don’t have one of those either. I’ll have to look around for one.
- Will my sleeping bag be warm enough (given it’s a child’s one I got from Santa when I was 11)?
- Which aqua taxi will we get from Totaranui, and will it tee up with a shuttle back to the airport?
Some things I am really excited about include:
- Being able to eat as much scroggin as I like—guilt free because it’s pretty much non-negotiable for tramping
- Choosing my own mix of ingredients to make my perfect scroggin
- Experiencing the spiritual feeling I’m told I’ll get while walking
- Playing cards by candle light in the huts
So I’ve got a bit of organising to do around getting there and back, and sorting out my equipment. If anyone has any recommendations or advice about the Abel Tasman it would be greatly appreciated!