Big Tonga Marine Reserve Overnighter

Big Tonga Overnight

Explore Heaps By Kayak and Walking

Day 1 – Kayak

Experience the Abel Tasman from land and water. Join our popular Big Tonga Overnighter and experience the Park over 2 days. Guided Kayaking into the Tonga Island Marine Reserve from Onetahuti making your way down the coast, exploring Falls River lagoon (tide dependent) and secluded beaches and bays along the way. We’ll discover: Tonga Island Seal Colony, Shag Harbour*, Falls River Lagoon*, Tonga Arches, and kayak sailing (weather permitting). After a great kiwi picnic and refreshing swim, we’ll paddle on to Anchorage, where you can either choose from the DOC hut or camping.

What can we offer…..

• Free return bus transfer from Nelson and Motueka to Kaiteriteri
• Two day kayak and walk combos include all Water Taxi transfers.
• Free transfer of your overnight gear to Anchorage.
• A packed lunch is included in the Kayak trip. You supply all other meals.
• Secure free overnight car parking at Kaiteriteri.
• Accommodation and Overnight permits can be arranged with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and is an additional cost. Let us help you book these.

Ask us about booking and organizing your accommodation in the Abel Tasman.

Day 2 – Walk

Sleep in and take a relaxed unguided walk from Anchorage south to Apple Tree Bay for a Sea Shuttle pick up at 12pm, 1:50pm or 4pm. This leisurely walk takes about 2.5 hours. Or take a detour and explore Cleopatra’s Pool (add 2hrs) or historic Pitt Head and Te Pukatea Bay (add 1 hr).

We hold a marine mammal permit and can get as close as 20 metres to the Fur Seals at Tonga Island.

* winds/tides permitting


Trip: Big Tonga Overnighter
Food: Lunch included on kayaking day. Please bring 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner, snacks and water
Paddling: Approx 12km. 4½ hours including breaks
Walking: Up to 11 km. 2 – 4 hours
Sailing: Up to 30 minutes
Water Taxi: 2 x Sea Shuttles. Approx 1 hour, and approx 20 minutes
Check-in: 8:30am at Kaiteriteri Base
Briefing: About 25 mins
Duration: 2 Days
Return: 4:30pm back at base
Age Limit: 14+

Open Season

Open summer 2015-2016 (October 1, 2015 – April 30, 2016).


Adult: $230.00 plus accommodation

All prices are in New Zealand dollars and include sales tax (GST).

book this trip

Region History

Not surprisingly, a local Maori tribe resided at Pitt Head (located just north of Te Pukatea Bay) as it is probably the most formidably defensive Pa (village) site in the Abel Tasman. The headland rises steeply from all sides. Its only access being a very narrow track joining it to the mainland.

Pitt Head also provides one of the best photo viewpoints in the Abel Tasman, looking down over the beautiful crescent beach of Te Pukatea Bay.

What You Need to Bring

Food (1 x dinner, 1 x breakfast and 1 x lunch)
•T-shirt / shorts / warm top / swimming togs / towel / sunglasses and hat / sandals or trainers / rain jacket / a spare set of warm non kayaking gear for the evening. Include long pants, warm top (wool or fleece), socks, T Shirt.
•Don’t forget – medication / sunscreen / insect repellent / toiletries /camera / water bottles
•Camping equipment – all this gear can be hired from us.
•Tent, sleeping bag and mat
•Cooker with fuel and lighter
•Pots, bowls cups and cutlery
•Head torch

What We Supply

Top quality double kayak, life jackets, paddles, spray skirts, dry bags for cameras, safety briefing and guide on the first day. We also supply hot chocolate, fresh ground coffee, tea and biscuits and lunch on day one. We hire all necessary camping equipment.