As any good hiker should know, the best thing you can do before starting your walk is preparing yourself. Check you have batteries, you have enough food, you have enough clothes for all weathers, etc. We did not do this. We started from the southern end of the track near Marahau. We climbed quite a steep hill with our packs at the start, but after that if was relatively easy going. I wanted to get close to Anchorage Hut so we would be able to get to Torrent Bay and the track to the waterfall the following day. We walked 6 hours almost to Anchorage then turned just before it to Watering hole bay. The picture below is from the top of a hill overlooking Torrent bay.
If you find yourself in Nelson while traveling to Abel Tasman, save some time for Happy Valley Adventures. Several types of activities available, but we stopped specifically for the Skywire. Strapped safely in your 4 person chair, you travel at speeds of over 60mph as you fly over the forest below.
The first freefall drop will definitely get your attention, but then it's smooth sailing forwards and backwards. Check out the photos/web page for a better idea of the adventure. It wasn't nearly as scary as I anticipated. Jackets and safety goggles provided.
We climbed a steep track down from the hill at Anchorage bay, pretty exhausted, to find it was entirely full of kayakers. So we decided to cook a hot meal before embarking to somewhere else but our gas stove ran out of gas. Oh dear. The spare cannister was in the car. We had to walk another 2 hours or so back to a bay about 2 hours from the car where we stayed overnight and set up our tent. Also we had to light a fire (illegal as it was) to cook our food and boil our water (which is neccessary because of Gardia). Smoke flavoured water is not nice. The next day we got to the car and drove to town to buy more food, as we had run out. Again we walked to the same bay that night and set up tent there. It is a nice place but boats roar into it as it is a waterski area, which I found annoying. Also you wake up and there are quite a lot of people there because it isnt too far from the entrance.
So in conclusion prepare yourself before hiking any tracks.