Able Tasman Kayaking, DIY Bridge Swings and Sleeping Under Rocks

Done really well at keeping my mid week weekends full recently. I really struggle to sit still for 5 minutes never mind 3 full days each week! First up was a trip Cherie had been wanting to do for a good few weeks and had arranged for us to hire a kayak up near Tata Bay and paddle round to the coast to a hut I have been calling ‘The Mouse Hut’ due to the tales I have heard from other folk that have stayed there. It would turn out we would be unable to stay there in the end as the wind really picked up and we were unable to paddle round one of the points. It got pretty rough with waves breaking over out kayak most of the time and a real effort to keeping the bow into the waves then changing direction so we were riding down the waves just to keep out direction across the bay consistant. Pretty exciting nonetheless and would prove to be more exciting than our calm trip back the next day. The Able Tasman

Our Private Beach for the Night

We ended up just parking our kayak up at Taupo Point and pitching out tent there. Proved to be a spectacular place to stay and although the image makes the sea look pretty calm….. I assure you it was not. 60kmph winds were recorded just across at Fairwell spit and blasting straight down to us. Really fun trip though even though we lost a fish off out line and Cherie forgot her roll matt.

Next up was doing a DIY bridge swing just outside of Nelson. Thanks to Niks rigging skills we managed to make a mean as swing which he’d done a coupe times before. Next time for sure I am not missing out on it!

Nik Elson

Nik lowering himself down under the bridge


After a couple of attempts Nik got the rope just right so you could drag your hands in the water as he passed!

Cherie McKenzie


And my ‘mid week weekend’ just gone I was graced with the presence of a good friend from Canada/Wanaka on her way up to Wellington. After a very last minute decision we decided to go to Kahurangi National Park and see what we could find. I’d been there a few weeks before and been to up the Cobb Valley  end of the park so was keen to check out the south end of the park near Mt Arthur. It was Julies first tramping trip and I have had a pretty dodgy knee recently so we planned a pretty simple route. For the first day we would go from the Flora car park down to Dry Rock Shelter (cheers Digby for the tip) and spend the night there. Passed some pretty cool looking huts along the way and most of the track has now been opened for Mountain Biking which is cool.


Dry Rock Shelter

Dry Rock Shelter was a pretty amazing place to spend the night. Its literally just a big over hanging rock with a small wooden platform to sleep on. Over the years many trampers have carved their names into the soft rock and even some small hollows for candles, a care and a few shelves. Despite New Zealands short history and lack of cavemen the place felt as if there should of been a few pictures of stick men waving sticks at a mammoth! After a few games of Monopoly Deal we fell asleep looking at the stars and listening to Moreporks.

After a pretty goodnights sleep, despite a small altercation with a mouse, it was up early as we had a pretty long day ahead of us. First we had to get up Gordons Pyramid. TOM AKASS-2-2

Julie making the last push to top of Gordons Pyramid looking back at the Tablelands.


Julie pointing out the goal for our afternoon


After a short break we set of again along ridges and through some spectacular rock formations. I still amazes me everywhere I go in this country how much to landscape changes even just 2 minutes down the road! We met an old boy on the way down who looked to be almost 70 on his way down from the summit with his titanium knees, by this point I was very jealous of his ‘upgrade’.

Mt Arthur

Looking back towards our path up and back to Nelson in the distance.

Ended up being a really good fun trip actually and would recommend it to anyone with a couple days to spare. Sure it gets busy during the weekends etc but well worth a wiggle.