An astrolabe (Greek: ἀστρολάβος astrolabos, “star-taker”)[1] is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers and navigators, to measure the inclined position in the sky of a celestial body, day or night.

But the Astrolabe Explorer is a full day of kayaking off the coast of Abel Tasman National Park, through an area called the Astrolabe Roadstead. But “Astrolabe” here is from the name of Dumont D’Urville’s ship–he was a French explorer who mapped the South Island on New Zealand in the late 1820s.


Fast forward about 200 years: in late January 2017, our younger daughter Annie was visiting New Zealand. Although Dan could not go, Annie and I decided to go on a full day kayaking tour led by Gabe from Kaiteriteri Kayak.

We spent the night before in Clare’s AirBnb in Motueka…and easy 20 minute drive to Kaiteriteri.


After a good night’s sleep and an incredible breakfast, we had the most gorgeous and incredible day in the Tasman Bay paddling through the Astrolabe  Roadstead, taking breaks on the sandy beaches, kayaking into caves, wandering on tiny islands, watching seals, cormorants, and learning about the efforts to lure gannets to the bird sanctuary islands.


We raved about the experience so much that Dan and I decided to repeat it: first Clare’s, then another Astrolabe day–this time with another Dan and Tony guiding. It was different, but no less wonderful.

They say a photograph is worth a thousand words–so quit reading and start enjoying! Then make your travel plans. Simply incredible!



One thought on “Astrolabe…kayaking

  1. What a wonderful decision to change your whole life by going to New Zealand. What a wonderful time you are having end it is so obvious when we see these pictures. Ceree Schiller

    Liked by 1 person

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