Abel Tasman Track from Tyler Grubb on Vimeo.
"So you're ok on the manual transmission right?"
"O we'll give you a quick 10 minute run through and you'll be fine."
The car rental employee didn't seem to mind that I had never driven a stick-shift before, even if I was driving 20 hours over the weekend. I quickly found out that if you never come to a full stop, you don't have to worry about stalling it trying to put it back into gear. Even with the no-stop strategy I managed to stall it at least 4 times on the drive to Christchurch last Wednesday night. Megan and I headed up to the Abel Tasman Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Its a beautiful trail along the coast of the South Island that loops between rainforest and white sand beaches. We hiked 12 miles the first day there to reach our own private beach campsite with views of the turquoise ocean at the Medlands Campsite. After a night bonfire, we hiked another 9 miles to Awaroa Beach where we devoured a steak dinner at the Lodge before camping again and catching a water taxi back to the beginning in the morning. Along the way we crossed a suspension rope bridge, encountered jellyfish, played with hermit crabs, spotted seals, and stirred up a stingray. The Abel Tasman will for sure go down as one of my favorite highlights from down under.