I spent the week of Christmas in the South Island’s Abel Tasman National Park. My original idea was to do a whole five-day coastal trek and spend Christmas Day in the backcountry, but I decided to cut it short when I realized I was the only solo hiker on the trail — among about a dozen vacationing families. I also had horrible blisters from wearing brand-new shoes. So I turned back after one night out there, to spend Christmas Day with my friends in nearby Marahau. Still, I saw a good 12 kilometers of the track and it didn’t disappoint.