Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? If you live in or are coming to New Zealand and want to do some of their “adventure sports” to get your adrenaline pumping, look no further than Abel Tasman Canyons. These guys know how to have fun!
As most of you may know, we don’t own a television. Yes, we are travelling around the world so of course we don’t have one. But even before we left the states we didn’t own one. So it was ironic that we would find one of the coolest things either one of us had ever done on television. While house sitting in Wanganui, we watched a series called “Wild about New Zealand”, where we learned of canyoning in Abel Tasman National Park.
We caught up with Toine (pronounced Twan) and Riki, our guides, outside of our campsite in Marahau as they picked us up in the morning and took us to the parking lot where we would be fitted with wetsuits and catch the water taxi. The water taxi is a boat that takes people to and from remote places along the coast of the Abel Tasman National Park where they might be starting a hike, kayaking, staying in a hut, or CANYONING! We began the boat ride with a detour over to split apple rock and then stopped by to see some New Zealand fur seals before heading out to the park.
We finished our scenic taxi ride by getting dropped off at Anchorage, a small bay with a beautiful beach inside the national park. There is even a lodge there for backpackers to stay in or there is the floating backpackers lodge, which is a houseboat fitted with all of the accommodations needed for an overnight stay on the bay.
Just like when we took the jet boat to The Bridge to Nowhere, we were the only two on this adventure. It was early season and things were just starting to kick off in Abel Tasman. We hiked for an hour and a half into the national park and learned about some of the history of the park and a lot about the native landscape. We ended our hike on “Toine’s track”, a trail beat down by our guide himself after exploring the area and descending the very canyon we were about to only a year and a half prior. At the end of this trail, we would find the Torrent River, our starting point for canyoning and where we would eat lunch, which was included in our trip. After lunch, we geared up with our wetsuits, helmets, harnesses and started into the canyon where once you started, there was only one way out… down.
Canyoning included natural slides carved out by the raging water, abseiling (rappelling) down waterfalls, jumping into deep pools off of six meter (20 ft.) and eight meter (27 ft.) cliffs, and zip lining off the top of waterfalls over rocks and into a pool below.
After we got to the bottom and finished, all we could think was “man, I feel sorry for all those people who are just hiking through the park”. The entire trip lasted all day, with the actual canyoning lasting about three hours. We saw parts of Abel Tasman that very few people get to see and in one of the most exciting ways possible. Our thanks go out to Toine and Riki for their help in keeping us safe and helping us experience New Zealand in style! So if you feel the need to let it all hang out and live life, then call Abel Tasman Canyons and get yourself to the South Island of New Zealand.
Check out Jason’s 8 meter jump in the video below
P.S. Canyoning was the highlight of our trip… so far!
All photos and video courtesy of Abel Tasman Canyons