Abel Tasman National Park: New Zealand’s great walks

The sun is sinking on our third day exploring the Abel Tasman Coast Track as we step off the main path and on to a spur trail snaking along the northern tip of the national park.

We’ve crossed paths with walkers who have raved about this detour, leading away from the track between Awaroa Lodge and Whariwharangi Bay, and diverting walkers to Separation Point. Those who take on the extra legwork are rewarded with a lookout over a lighthouse, perched on the end of a craggy peninsula.

The canopy of trees overhead opens as we climb over a small summit to a soundtrack of chirping cicadas. There’s a sheer drop to the left of the trail, which curves around the cliff face before widening into a small clearing.

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The last few hundred metres down to the rocks of Separation Point are both steep and slippery. While my brother Matt clambers down, I perch on a rock, trying to catch glimpses of a pod of seals lazing in the sun above the shoreline below.

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