Okay, I take back what I said about the Tongario Crossing being the perfect hike, because I found one today that is even more perfect. The girls and I signed up for an overnight combo hiking-kayaking trip through Abel Tasman National Park in the South Island.
We rode a water taxi to a remote part of the park and stopped along the way to watch seals sunning themselves on rocky islands. When we arrived at the drop-off point, we had a picnic on the beach (Iíve never eaten so many peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches in my life as I have this year). Then we walked for over four hours on a path that led past pristine beaches bordering the most emerald green water Iíve ever seen and lush rainforest. Tonight weíre sleeping in a communal hut that bunks about 30 people before meeting our tour group on the beach in the a.m. to kayak the rest of the way back. I never knew there were places on earth as breathtaking as this. I want to come back someday.