Inspired by Pete and Tish’s recent sea kayaking adventure, we spent the day sea kayaking around the north-western coast of Abel Tasman National Park. Golden Bay Kayaks at Tata Beach, near Takaka, were great! They sorted us out with a two person kayak and all the kit, as well as telling us where to go and what to look out for. We set off around the Tata Islands and then kayaked eastwards around Abel Tasman Point and into Wainui Bay. We passed lots of shags on the way and a rare heron (according to the kayak shop owners), but these were nothing compared to the sting rays that we came upon further into the bay. In the shallow estuary entrance, these creatures could be seen at a distance of about 15 m from the kayak as huge black things. Richard steered us over to a huge one that was about 1 m across, but it got rather upset at our presence and put it’s stinging tail into an upright position and out of the water. It scared the life out of me, as I had no idea whether it was going to spit at me or whether it was just a warning! We saw lots of other sting rays, but nothing quite so large. The water in the shallows was amazingly warm. The next cool creature we saw was after we had beached the kayak near Taupo Point; this was a Gannet. It flew around the bay and then suddenly beak-dived into the water right in front of us to catch its unsuspecting prey! Amazing.
Once beached, we had our lunch, and then since the water was warm, went for a snorkel around Uarau Point and saw lots of mussels and chitons, a few fish and some starfish.
After our break we headed back, again exploring the shallows of Wainui Bay looking for sting rays, and then kayaking through an archway and spotting seals on the rocks. We had a second break at Little Tata Bay to enjoy the late afternoon sun, before finally heading back to return the kayak. A lovely day out!
Series - New Zealand '12
- We’re in New Zealand…
- Dunedin – Sealife Central
- Tramping the Rees-Dart
- Ascent of Mount Fox
- 45 river crossings before 11.30 am
- Sea kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park
- Abel Tasman coastal track
- Karori 3 hour rogaine
- One day in Bangkok