Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest jewel in the crown of New Zealand’s national park network (22,500 hectares) yet it reflects a unique identity among the much larger, more mountainous parks. It encompasses kilometres of idyllic golden sand beaches washed by the tidal flows of Tasman Bay, linked by an easy walking track of exceptional standard, alternating with hidden coves, estuaries and spectacular granite outcrops. Offshore lie numerous islands punctuating the broad sweep of Tasman Bay, providing sanctuary for seabirds, seals and penguins.
Looking down toward the sea from the track while walking, you will see the brilliant blue-green of the water and golden sand set against luxuriant forest and tree fern, with a feeling of being on an island paradise. Looking inland however, the park presents a different profile, with dense forested hills rising steeply to 800 – 1100 metres, drained by rugged watersheds which fall to the coast through deep gorges and impassable waterfalls. The park has an interesting history, with Maori settlement, Dutch and French explorers, before being settled by English settlers in the 1850′s.
We will guide you along a section or various sections of the Abel Tasman Track tailored to your fitness, interests and the time you have available. We use scheduled water taxis and make it easy for you, as we know the water taxi pickup times and are able to plan a day to fit around their schedules. Your Simply Wild guide will have a radio to inform the water taxi where and when to collect you.
The Abel Tasman Track is very popular, so we aim to avoid some of the busier sections of track, and provide a personalised experience of this lovely coastal walk.
We provide a door to door experience. We will collect you from your hotel, lodge or other accommodation and return you at the end of the day. We supply a delightful fresh picnic lunch prepared by our Simply Wild chef.
We connect with two key watertaxi departures, one at 9.00am and a later taxi at 10.30am, both leaving from Marahau near the beginning of the park. The water taxi’s return from the northern beaches of the park around 3.00 and 3.30pm on their trip back to Marahau.
If you are staying in or near Nelson City, we will collect you around 7.45am for the earlier boat, or 9.15am for the later boat.
If you are staying in the Motueka or Ngatimoti areas we will collect you around 8.15am for the earlier boat, or 9.45am for the later boat.
You can design the day to suit how far you would like to walk. We generally walk the section or sections of the track between Awaroa and Anchorage, going North on the water taxi to either Awaroa, Onetahuti or Bark Bay, and then walking South back toward Anchorage along the Abel Tasman track.
You can combine walking with sea kayaking by walking from Onetahuti to Bark Bay, then sea kayaking from Bark bay to Anchorage before meeting the water taxi for the trip back to Marahau. Sea kayaking between these two points takes about 2 hours along the coastline. Sea kayaking is an extra cost.
One person trip – NZ$ 937.00 – per person
Two person trip – NZ$ 539.00 per person
Extra people – NZ$ 172.00 per person
Sea kayaking – NZ$ 250.00 per person
Collection from your Hotel, Lodge or Accommodation in either Nelson, Mapua or Motueka area and return and the end of the day by luxury vehicle.
Fully guided/hosted by your friendly and knowledgeable Simply Wild guide.
A fresh gourmet picnic lunch prepared by our Simply Wild chef.
How far are the walking sections?
Awaroa to Bark bay is 11.5km and generally takes between 2 1/2 and 4 hours to walk.
Onetahuti to Bark Bay is around 4km and takes around 1 1/2 hours.
Awaroa to Anchorage is 21km and it is possible to walk the distance in 5 – 6 hours.
We tend suggest walking the Awaroa or Onetahuti section as there generally less walkers on this section, and we like the views and perspective of the park.
What is the track like and what kind of footwear do I need?
The track is well formed with a firm surface, at least a metre wide in most places. It climbs from sea level with short climbs over low coastal ridges at times, providing great views of the park. Light walking shoes or trainers are ideal footwear. Boots are not necessary. Teva or similar sandals are fine, although the fine granite sand can be a little irritating when it gets between the sole of your feet and the surface of your sandal.
What else do I need for the day?
Shorts or light quick drying trousers, light wool or polypropylene travel shirt or T shirt, light fleece jacket, light windproof jacket, cap or hat, sunglasses, day pack, swimming costume, towel, camera, suntan lotion, insect repellent. We have plenty of spare clothing in our vehicle and can provide most items for the day such as daypacks if you require them. We do not have shoes.
Where do we sea kayak from and how long does it take?
If we are combining walking and sea kayaking, we tend to walk from Awaroa or Onetahuti to Bark Bay and then sea kayak from Bark Bay to Anchorage. The kayaking takes around 2 hours.