Plan & Prepare
Like any outdoor environment, the Abel Tasman National Park requires respect in many ways. Respect for its natural environment, respect for its ability to give you blue skies along with wind and rain, respect in the ocean’s ability to be calm and serene or stormy and dangerous. Being adequately prepared means you will have a fantastic experience in this amazing place.
AquaTaxi services depart from both Marahau and Kaiteriteri all year-round which means visitors can access almost every section of the Coastal Track. This accessibility provides visitors with the option to spend from half a day, to a full day or multiple days exploring the Park depending on the time they have available or their specific interests. There are options to do short, hour-long sections of the track, to walk the entire length of the Park or something in-between.
AquaTaxi runs scheduled services up and down the Abel Tasman throughout the day dropping off and picking up passengers at the six main coastal access points within the Park. Starting from the south, these coastal access points are Anchorage, Torrent Bay, Bark Bay, Onetahuti, Awaroa, Totaranui.
See our Map & Timetable to plan your trip.
As two long, skinny islands in the middle of the South Pacific, New Zealand’s weather is notoriously fickle. Having said this, the Abel Tasman enjoys the most stable weather in the country and can be experienced in most conditions, aside from the extremely nasty stuff.
The New Zealand Met Service is a good place to check the weather forecast, and also the marine conditions.
In the north of the Park, a tidal estuary stands between Awaroa and Totaranui. This estuary can only be crossed 1.5 to 2 hours either side of low tide. There is no way to cross or walk around the estuary during higher tide conditions so you will need to check the tides if you are planning to cross between these two points. The Department of Conservation website has tide charts so you can plan ahead.
Department of Conservation advertises the following walking times:
|Marahau to Anchorage Hut||3.5 hrs||12.4km|
|Anchorage Hut to Torrent Bay|
|— High tide route||1.25hrs||4.0km|
|— Low tide route||20mins||.9km|
|Torrent Bay to Bark Bay||3 hrs||7.8km|
|Bark Bay to Onetahuti||2.5 hrs||6.1km|
|Onetahuti to Awaroa Hut||1.5 hrs||5.3km|
|Awaroa Hut to Totaranui||2 – 2.5 hrs||5.5km|
|Totaranui to Whariwharangi||3.5 hrs||7.5km|
What To Bring
All accommodation in the Abel Tasman must be booked in advance. This includes the Department of Conservation huts and campsites, and the other overnight options. To check availability of DOC huts and campsites go to this link: Check availability
Huts are $38 per person per night during the peak season (Oct-Apr) and $32 at other times (May-Sept). Tent sites are $15 per person per night throughout the year.
Alternatively Aquapackers is a floating backpacker lodge permanently moored at Anchorage. Aquapackers is $85 per person for a dorm room or $245 per night for a private cabin that sleeps two people and $360 for the triple/quad room. These prices include a BBQ dinner and breakfast.
Another option is the Awaroa Lodge, a 4+ star lodge and restaurant.