What surprised me the most about the Able Tasman Coastal Track in New Zealand was how absolutely gorgeous every section was of our 5-day backpacking trip. One minute you’re overlooking the surrounding bays from the treetops, the next you’re ducking under a thick array of Beech trees where the sky and water are barely visible, the next you’re sharing a golden beach with this guy just living his life.
This Shag wanted his space, but like anyone there, it was going to take a lot to make him move from this place. He waddled around as we approached, Jake crept closer for the photo, and the slow chase entertained me for about 10 minutes. He kept his back to us for easy escape, always keeping a watchful eye, but never overly concerned with our presence.
There’s something so different about walking out of the tree cover and onto a beach with a backpack strapped to you and a hiking pole in each hand. It’s weird to walk along a beach looking like this… Whatever it takes to see places, people and animals like this though, right?