The Abel Tasman at 22,500ha (56,000 acres) is the smallest National Park in New Zealand but its outstanding attractive coastline makes it the second most visited National Park in the country.
The area has a very rich history. Maori lived along its coastline for 500 years with its plentiful source of seafood and valleys for growing vegetables. In 1642 the Dutch Explore Abel Tasman encountered the Ngati Tumatakokiri people in the north and following an altercation, lost 4 men and set sail having never set foot on land. There were various visits by Europeans from the early 1800’s with permanent settlement from around 1855. The area was logged to make way for farming as well as quarrying granite rock. Concern grew with the deforestation and in 1942 the Government formed the area into a National Park.
The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s only coastal National Park – and its golden sandy beaches and clear turquoise water make it one of the most popular.
The sheltered bays are popular for cruising, sailing and sea kayaking. On land, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track follows the coastline through lush native bush, over limestone cliffs and along golden sandy beaches. This is one of the Department of Conservation’s “Great Walks”.
Today the Park is noted for its golden sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and estuaries, all of which can been seen within a day. Simply Wild operates a wide range of activities and adventures in the Abel Tasman National Park including private sailing, launch and kayak tours.