So if you are looking to organise and book in your own trip to The Abel Tasman, The steps below willl summaries the main things to figure out.
Then this will guide you through the process to avoid some of the major pitfalls and heart aches.
This is also a great way to visit The Park if you want a taster of The Abel Tasman on a short time frame or if you want to enjoy the comforts of Marahau while still exploring the park. We have a few examples of One Night Trips here, or if you are just after Day Trips, then check this page out.
Our favourite walking section is between Bark Bay and Anchorage. This is also a great section to Kayak as is the Marine Reserve area from Awaroa to Bark Bay.
If you are looking to do the whole track then you should allow for 3-4 nights walking in one direction. The Southern end of The Track (Marahau) is the main hub that people start and end the track. Being New Zealand’s costal national park, you can utilise water based transport around the park.
Check what the low tide at the Awaroa crossing is here, as this is the main place that will seriously impact your movements. You will get 2 hours either side of low tide to cross. Crossing may take 30-45mins. We would recommend that you cross on the falling side of low tide, leaving time spare for emergencies. This crossing time will determine if it make more sense to boat to Totaranui and walk down to Marahau, or walk up from Marahau and boat back down from Totaranui.
The Northern loop from Totaranui up to Separation point and through Whariwharangi can be done with a morning with an early start, to get the last boat out of Totaranui at 2:45.
The Abel Tasman has the largest range of things you can do inside a National Park. I would highly recommend doing at least a day of kayaking. It is just an awesome way to experience The Park from the coast, see all the different bird life, seals, penguins and maybe even some dolphins or Orca Whales. Nothing cements an awesome memory like gliding into a deserted beach that can only be accessed by water and having lunch or set or camp.
Another great option is to get a Sail Yacht to take you the first leg of the trip up through the Astrolabe and past Adele Island to Anchorage, an awesome way start the trip off on a high.
If you know the sections you want to explore or just looking to get a ride out after completing the one way leg, then Aqua Taxi provides a great transport network around the park every day.
DOC provides a series of campsites throughout the Abel Tasman varying in size from 5 sites to over a thousand in Totaruni. Check out our Abel Tasman Campsite Guide.
The Main Campsites also include Doc Huts at Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa, and Whariwharangi. Check out our Abel Tasman Hut guide. These will provide Bunk Style accomodation.
If you are looking for a bit more comfort, then Awaroa lodge can provide a 4 star option. They also have a great restaurant/bar, as well as the Pizzaria. Great for a long lunch after being out in the Bush.
There is also some private houses in the Awaroa village that maybe available.
Torrent Bay Village may also provide some limited options.
The best place to start is by booking accommodation first. Usually, the operators can be semi-flexible around where you need to be. If you do have to make changes, make sure you can manage the distances and/or make the boat pickup time along with tidal considerations at Aworoa, Oneatahuti, and Torrent Bay.
Flexibility is key. You may not be able to stay at that dream location you wanted to. Particularly over the summer.
Since you have done all the research yourself, you should go directly to the operation that you want to use rather than any of the online travel agents out there. The operator will be ecstatic that booked through them, rather than paying a commission to a transactional multinational corporate travel agency. If you have found a local travel agent who has provided real value to you and helped put it together for you, like the Motueka I site, then that is great!
Marahau is the start and end of the Abel Tasman. You can exit out the other end, but it is pretty barren. Check out the guide to the start of the track here.
If you need to hire camping gear there is gear hire at The Barn at the very start of the Track.
If you need any last-minute bookings of any activities, we can sort it out when you check-in, or even the morning of your departure.
We would love to hear from you if you have any questions or would like us to help book an awesome Abel Tasman Experience. We can fully book and organise day trip and over night trips in the Abel Tasman.