From Watering Cove campsite, the track leads back up to the top of the ridge and then back down the other side to the beach at The Anchorage. At Torrent Bay there is a low water track straight across the bay, or an alternate high water track. Due to the timing of our trip we had to use the high water track as we had a long day ahead. The low water route will save you about 1.5 hours.
If you are using the high water route to Torrent Bay, as yet another alternative, at the top of the ridge you can back track a kilometre or so and then drop down off the ridge to Torrent Bay itself. Obviously if you have stayed at Anchorage Hut, the route we took is easier.
At Anchorage Beach, the hut lies off to the right, whilst the track continues to the left along the beach. After a short climb at the end of the beach, the turnoff for the low water track is reached. The high water track to the left takes you around some beautiful inlets at Torrent Bay. On our trip, the rain had started after we left Watering Cove, not heavy but just enough for us to use our pack covers. However the light rain added a beautiful misty atmosphere to these inlets.
After two hours from Watering Cove, we decided to have morning tea at a small campsite part way around the Bay. Whilst we ate our scroggin, we watched a Shag looking for his own food in the water. About ten minutes from the campsite is the turnoff to Cascade Falls (45 minutes) and Falls River (1.5 hours), with Torrent Bay campsite another 10 minutes from here.
At Torrent Bay there is a small community on private land within the Abel Tasman National Park. Please respect their privacy and stick to the well-marked route through their properties. Most of the houses looked like holiday homes and the locals were friendly with an offer of a cup of coffee to break up the morning!
From Torrent Bay to Bark Bay, the track goes over a number of ridge lines, a couple of which have lookouts located on them. As we were heading further on past Bark Bay we decided not check out the views. The track does cross Falls River via an impressive suspension bridge. It took us about 2.5 hours from the campsite at Torrent Bay to reach Bark Bay campsite. We stopped here for lunch as the campsite was well equipped with a cooking area, picnic tables and flushing toilets no less!
By now the water was low enough for us to cross Bark Bay and avoid another long inland trek. Tonga Quarry campsite
is just over 1.5 hours from Bark Bay and in total about 6.5 hours from Watering Cove. It had been a long day but well worth the effort. The campsite at Tonga Quarry was small but well spread out, with a lovely beach and views of Tonga Island.
Day Three - Tonga Quarry Campsite to Waiharakeke Bay Campsite