One night: Still 100% worthwhile!
A couple of times in the past we’ve found ourselves thinking that we would love to go camping on a particular weekend only to realise we’ll only have one night available. With only the one night, is it worth the hassle of getting prepared and then getting ourselves into the Abel Tasman? The answer every single time we’ve done this has been a gold-plated, resounding, unanimous ‘hell yes!’ Even when we can only manage to get into the Park late in the afternoon, setting up camp is quick and then we’ve got the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy – which is always the best time of the day in the Abel Tasman anyway. We’ll spend the next morning doing a short walk, or just hanging out on the beach before jumping on the last water taxi back to Marahau.
We live in Riwaka which is a short 15 minute drive from Marahau at the start of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. That makes it super easy for us to drive over, to park the car and catch a water taxi to our campsite for the night. We’re also fortunate enough to have an awesome little camper van called Queenie. This means we also have the option of driving over to Golden Bay and through to Totaranui, which is only about a 1.5 hour drive. Tot, as locals call it, is my favourite camping ground in the entire galaxy. The main beach is a classic Abel Tasman crescent-shared, long sweeping golden-sand bay. The estuary behind the camping ground is magical on all tides and the walks to the north, towards Separation Point and south towards Awaroa are fantastic. The fishing out from Tot is pretty good but best of all: you can have an outdoor fire! Sitting around an outdoor fire with family and friends, sharing a brew and telling stories is my idea of heaven.
Totaranui is extremely popular during the peak summer season, but outside of those few short months we find ourselves sharing the place with only a few other visitors. We just spent a night there in late May and despite the weather being perfect, had an entire camping area to ourselves. Our tradition is to spend Labour Weekend in late October and then Easter camping at Totaranui with a group of friends. It has become our way of celebrating the beginning of summer, and then Easter is a great way to recognise the end of the busy summer period.
Blog by Brendan Alborn
Owner Operator – Alborn Enterprises
Brendan has a 20 year association with the Abel Tasman, visiting it for the first time when his parents moved to Marahau in 1997. After spending much of his life overseas, Brendan and his family moved to the area at the end of 2010. When Brendan is not spending his time in the outdoors he seems to spend much of his time creating even flimsier justifications for spending more time in the outdoors.