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We are so enamoured with the Coastal Abel Tasman that we seldom give a thought for the quieter, more solemn interior of the Abel Tasman National Park.
A recent day walk into Moa Park reminded me that the Abel Tasman is far more than the golden beaches and assure waters that are portrayed in tourism brochures.
We entered the Abel Tasman on a cloudy Sunday, beginning and ending our walk at Canaan. Our vehicle was left in the car park that services the track to Harwoods Hole. We began walking north up the ridge on a wide, easy track that took us past the Rameka Track turnoff (good mountain bike track to Golden Bay), and the Wainui Hut turnoff. We then proceeded on a steep climb up a further ridge.
This track was not of the calibre of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track and could be classed as rugged in places with numerous tree roots and small rocks to navigate. Easily surmountable but care required.
When you drop down the other side of the ridge and rock hop over a couple of streams you realise that it was well worth the time, climb and effort. Moa Park appears hidden, isolated in it’s own little micro climate. A basin of sub-alpine tussock and shrubs surrounded by beech forest.
Something not found elsewhere in the AbelTasman National Park. It is hard to believe that you are only two hours away from your vehicle and civilisation. The old Moa Park Hut has now been down graded to a shelter and sits on a slight rise, a refuge in this strange contrasting land.
We spent some time exploring amongst the orange tussock, scrubland, and hebes, before beginning our hike out. We decided not to proceed to Porters Rock which has one of the best viewpoints in the Abel Tasman.
On the way we were accompanied by the end of the day birdsong rising up loud and melodious from the valley below. Moa Park was a good day out from our work in the coastal Abel Tasman www.abeltasmantours.co.nz
The interior of the Abel Tasman National Park is generally mild but often unpredictable so hikers should be prepared for high winds and heavy rain. Snow occasionally falls around Moa Park.
Moa Park is accessible from several entry points. The two most common being from Tinline, near Marahau, and from Canaan. To get to Canaan drive to near the top of the Takaka Hill(Marble Mountain), then turn right onto Canaan Road.
This gravel road should be taken slowly as it is very narrow. It goes for several miles before finishing at the Canaan Car Park.