The Abel Tasman Coastal Track
continues by sidling around the back of the Tonga campsite to follow cliffs for a km before dropping down to the beautiful Onetahuti beach
. The campsite here is larger and busier but the beach is stunning. At the end of the beach, there is a stream crossing which according to DOC should only be attempted at low tide. However it looked pretty tame to us and we couldn't imagine it being too deep even at high tide.
Having crossed the stream the track climbs to a saddle about an hour and a half from Tonga Quarry. At the saddle you can either follow the Coastal Track to Awaroa inlet or take the right turn through private land to Awaroa Lodge
. According to the sign, it's quicker to go via the Lodge although this may just be to tempt to drop in for a drink! Unfortunately we were tempted after a hot climb up to the saddle and took the route to the lodge.
Much to our amazement when we reached the Lodge grounds, there was a outdoor cafe selling pizza and cold drinks. We resisted the pizza temptation but succumbed a refreshingly cold glass of coke! After finishing off our packed lunches we continued through the Lodge grounds to met up with the track at the Awaroa Inlet.
It takes about 15 minutes to actually cross the inlet, tackled best in bare feet or jandals. Awaroa Hut
can be seen tucked away in bush beside the inlet. Once across it takes only 30 minutes to reach Waiharakeke Bay campsite, our destination for the night. The campsite is tucked away from the beach with plenty of room despite only being designated 10 sites. There is a tap for water, barbeque and a couple of picnic tables. This was the only campsite where we had our tickets checked by DOC.