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Great Walk Abel Tasman

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the local story – what happened

Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch navigator who was the first European to discover and enter New Zealand on 13 December 1642. The Australian island Tasmania, the Tasman Sea, the National Park and Great Walk Abel Tasman in the north of the South Island of New Zealand are named after him.

The Abel Tasman Great Walk is considered one of the most beautiful walk, it is said to have Caribbean flair. It is designed for 4 days, whereby one can really take enough time during this duration. The passing of some beach sections depends on the tide, so you have to wait for low tide again and again to be able to continue walking.

All these Great Walks of several days have to be pre-booked at the National Park Administration, as only as many people are let in at the same time as there are really sleeping places in the huts. The fact that I am on the way with my own tent is an advantage, because in contrast to the hut places the tent places are hardly occupied.

The hike was beautiful but not very challenging and if you have never experienced anything like this before, it was certainly something special. 

I knew in advance that there were a lot of Germans in New Zealand. Since there are no restrictions for so-called “work-and-travel visas” for our northern neighbours, it is assumed that there are permanently about 50,000 Germans in New Zealand. To get this visa you have to be younger than 30 – you are then allowed to travel and work in New Zealand for one year. By the way, only 100 such visas are issued to Austrians per year.

Nevertheless, I was very surprised when I arrived at my campground at a hut on the 2nd evening, where 18 of the 20 hut guests from Germany came.

The return journey from the end of the national park I took with the water taxi. That was really an impressive moment, because I could see the whole route again from the lake.

I was a little bit surprised when I saw a tractor driving around in the sea. In such a case, it seems that the local farmer takes the wrong way home after an extensive morning pint. In reality our boat was already loaded onto a trailer in the water and pulled ashore by tractor.

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