Abel Tasman

Park Overview

The Abel Tasman National Park has become recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty in New Zealand. The Abel Tasman colours; the deep blues and greens of the water, sky and forest with the golden yellows of the sand create a breathtaking paradise to sea kayak in.


The park is blessed with some of the highest sunshine hours in the country. It is the wind however that affects us kayakers the most. You can generally expect a light to moderate sea breeze between 12 noon and 6pm over the summer months. Stronger winds can occur at any time of the year and may cause you to have to change your kayaking plans while you wait for it to abate! You can check local and marine weather forecasts here: http://www.metservice.com/towns-cities/motueka


We have large tidal variations in the Park. This gives us a lot of interesting lagoons and coves to explore. You need to be aware of the tidal movements if you want to kayak into these areas. As a general rule, lagoons can be explored 2 hours either side of high tide. Good spots to check out include Ngaio Bay Lagoon, Torrent Bay, Frenchmans Bay, Falls River, Bark Bay, Mosquito Bay and the beautiful and remote Shag Harbour Lagoon.

When walking the track you don’t have the luxury of a kayak to float over the water and there are a few lagoons that can only be crossed 2 hours either side of low tide. Most of the tidal crossings have a high tide route which will take a little longer to walk but are more scenic and you’ll keep your feet dry. At Bark Bay the high tide track is only 10 minutes longer than the low tide so many people chose to stick to the high tide route even at low tide. The high tide track at Torrent bay however takes an hour more than low tide but it does offer access to the popular Cleopatra’s Pool. Awaroa estuary has no high tide route and can only be crossed 1.5 hours before low tide up to two hours after low tide. Here is a link to current tide tables: http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/abel-tasman-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/abel-tasman-coast-track/tide-tables/

Getting around within Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle provides a fantastic service that can get you anywhere in the Abel Tasman.


Trekking is a great way to see the Park.

Walking Times

Route Duration Distance (km)
Marahau to Anchorage Hut 3½ hours 11.1 km
Anchorage Hut to Torrent Bay at High Tide 1 – 1¼ hour 4 km
Anchorage Hut to Torrent Bay at Low Tide 20 mins .9 km
Torrent Bay to Bark Bay 2½ hours 7.7 km
Bark Bay to Onetahuti 2 hours 6.1 km
Onetahuti to Awaroa beach 1 hour 5.3 km
Awaroa Hut to Totaranui 2.5 hours 5.5km
Totaranui to Whariwharangi 3 hours 7 km

Staying in the Park


These are maintained by the Department of Conservation. Campsites near the four huts have filtered drinking water, while campsites away from the huts have unfiltered water supplies which you may choose to treat. All sites have toilets, toilet paper and tent site platforms.

Price: Please see the Department of Conservation pricing.
Campsite Locations: Tinline Bay, Coquille Bay, Appletree Bay, Akersten Bay, Observation Beach, Watering Cove, Te Pukatea Bay, Anchorage, Bark Bay, Mosquito Bay, Tonga Quarry, Onetahuti Beach, Awaroa Inlet, Waiharakeke Bay, Totaranui, Anapai Bay, Mutton Cove, Whariwharangi.
Bookings: Passes must be booked and purchased prior to departure into the park. Campsite bookings can be placed online at the D.O.C Online Bookings website.


These are maintained by the Department of Conservation. Huts have gas or wood heating, filtered drinking water, toilets, toilet paper, tables and tent site platforms. Huts do not have cookers or lighting.

Price: Please see the Department of Conservation pricing.
Hut Locations: Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa, Whariwharangi.
Bookings: Your beds must be booked and purchased prior to you arriving here. Hut bookings can be placed online at the D.O.C Online Bookings website.

Boat Stays

There is one company that operates in the Abel Tasman National Park offering boat stays at Anchorage during summer.

Stay in the Abel Tasman’s floating accommodation – backpackers dorms and private rooms available in the park.
Prices: Prices and inclusions for Dorm accommodation or Private Cabin.
Bookings: Your beds must be booked and purchased prior to you arriving here. You can book via us or direct with Aquapackers.

Lodge Accommodation

Awaroa Lodge
Discerning travelers from all over the world appreciate the distinctive architecture and relaxed ambience of Awaroa Lodge. Discover a perfect balance of natural comfort and contemporary style, welcoming hospitality, and creative cuisine.

Kaiteriteri Beach

Kaiteriteri is one of New Zealand’s premier swimming beaches and is known for its safe, sheltered water and golden sand. Kaiteriteri Kayaks operates from the beach itself. We have been told that our ‘office’ has one of the nicest views around… Check out the live Kaiteriteri Beach webcam here: http://www.takeabreak.co.nz/webcams/40/kaiteriteri_webcam

We feel privileged to be the only sea kayaking company to be allowed to operate off this beach. The bay and the surrounding beaches and coves are some of the most sheltered areas of the Tasman Bay coastline.

We aren’t the sort of people that ‘oversell’ things. We just get so many travelers that fall in love with this place that we reckon that it’s worth talking about. Check the place out for yourself, we are confident that you won’t be disappointed.

Even if you aren’t kayaking, there’s heaps to see and do here…

There’s also a cafe and takeaway shop and a store that has pretty much everything you may need.

Abel Tasman Map