Abel Tasman: how to Kayak like a pro

Preparation phase:
Book a couple of days prior and get the last campsite plots available in Anchorage Bay and Mosquito Bay (?!?!)
Go to Pack & Save for essential items (pot noodle, gas, trail mix, corn on the cob…)
Read Bear Grylls’ “How to Survive” (he needs to write more about kayaking).
Drink a whole bottle of wine the night prior and stock pile ice cream in your tummy.

Setting off:
Make sure you get up late and have at least 2 coffees before packing or doing anything productive.
Shove soaking tent in backseat of car.
Be chaotic in your packing/move Nicola’s shit so you can fit in the car.
Drive badly to the kayak rentals without your glasses or seatbelt on, do not forget to cross the centre line the entire way and especially on the blind corners.
Take more than 90 mins packing the kayak and discuss for 60 mins of this what items NEED to stay in the waterproof compartment along with Nic’s GIANT sleeping bag which takes up more than half of the allotted space.
Take note of hot guy.
Take a massive shit.
Finish coffee.
Sign life away and let family know you’re off out to sea and haven’t a clue what you’re doing.
Take a few pics/selfies.

Pee in the sea whilst trying to hold the kayak out with your mate in it.
You’re in charge, always in charge as the steers.

Hurts your Delts and Traps, but only on the left.
Be in control at all times of everything and make sure Nic knows what to do, tell her a few times, especially to keep paddling even when she is.
Farts are not smelt until after you detach your “skirt” at which point they cause immediate death of any wildlife in close proximity.

Ever present: seagull, wasp & bumblebee.
Bumblebees are attracted to blue, all my bikinis are blue and all of Nic’s clothes are blue. Figure this out on the last day…
Seagulls hunt in packs.
You’ll see lots of birds….seagulls and shags.
You’ll also skilfully spot Dolphins, which on closer inspection will always be driftwood.
Seals like to exhibit their bathing skills, 360 spins and a good upside down scratch on rocks.
Weka are rarely seen in NZ, but will come and dine with you in the Abel Tasman.
Sand flies rule this place, so all campers hang out in their most astronaut-like outfits past 5pm.

Sustenance (And on a more personal note):
Everyone else brought their wine, we brought a GIANT sleeping bag and not enough pot noodle.
Due to GIANT SLEEPING BAG (GSB) I’m hungry.
We do have a French press and the iPad (Ugly Truth is a terrible film, do not pack you iPad for that).
The people next to us are drinking beer and eating cake.
We hope to make it back, but the tune of today’s farts may change to grumbling tummies tomorrow. The left Delts/Traps will need more fuel than the squashed bananas we have left.

Nic needs to be reminded to cho things small and to stir the pot even if she’s already doing it.
Gas lasts forever.
Pot noodle isn’t very nice, but easily cooked on a stunning deserted beach in the most beautiful national park in NZ 😉


The above was written during a slightly giddy evening on Mosquito Bay, one of the most relaxed, remote and breathtaking bays along the coastline of the Abel Tasman. Nic and I had a blast “surviving” our 3 days adventuring and made it back to civilisation much earlier than anticipated to enjoy a well deserved burger and to have a good scratch of our sandfly bites. This wasn’t before the novelty of the water taxi; turns out you can drive boats down roads in NZ, who knew?!

We’ll spend the next day or two whale watching in Kaikoura and then wine tasting by tandem in Blenheim, before heading to our next national park. I presume at some point I’ll be keen to get back on the bike and I think the famous Lewis Pass awaits!!!!

3 thoughts on “Abel Tasman: how to Kayak like a pro

  1. Well now that’s what I call a tale of proper holiday fun with liberal use of totally appropriate vernacular to give a wonderfully graphic impression to your audience. Were you actually pissed at the time of writing 😄?


  2. Never one to take things the easy way
    you seem to be excelling at the moment !
    cautionary parental words
    be careful about yourself and others
    the moment is very precious
    but don’t get lost in it
    hold firmly onto reality
    without abandoning your ideals either

    bear in mind also that you will be returning after all your adventures to your home country
    certainly full of experiences
    but also to leada life which may be just as fulfilling


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