The Barn Cabins & Camp

Falls River Swing Bridge Abel Tasman trips

Bark to Anchorage Hike

Quick Trips

Walk time: 3 hours

Distance: 11.9 km

Difficulty: Easy

Recommendations: Take 2 liters of water per person and bring a camera!

Awesome Falls River swing bridge

Stop by Cleopatras Pools

Explore Torrent Village

One of the best sections in The Abel Tasman

The Bark to Anchorage Hike is one of our favourite sections of the Park. It has one of the most unique campsites that is a tiny peninsular with the ocean on one side and the tidal Inlet on the other. It’s a great experience just watch out for the spring tides! Bark Bay is also the last Bay before the Marine reserve starts, so has more marine life flowing out to it.

The Hut is located around the other side of the tidal inlet about 250 meters on the North Bound Track from the Main ocean-facing beach. There is great exploring around low tide and there is a low tide crossing for the North Bound track. It is not really any faster but is a fun experience. Just try to follow the large orange guideposts for the best route.

Abel Tamsan Trip swim from the barn cabins and camping

The Journey Begins

In order to get to Anchorage, you will need to get on the South Bound Track. This is a special section of The Park. You can expect the hike to take approximately 3 hours with minimal stops although we always recommend many stops! You will be journeying through some of the older parts of the forest and as such, has a strong native bird population.

Although the beach trees may look burnt, this is just a natural mold that comes from the excess production of Honey Due. A delicious treat produced from a scale insect that lives in the bark of the beech tree feeds on the sap, and excretes the excess sugar it can’t consume as the Honeydew! This Honeydew acts as a critical nutrient for the native birdlife through the winter months. Unfortunately, it is also a favourite for wasps. As such you will see a lot of wasp traps through this section as they put pressure on the native birds’ food supply.

If you are anything like me, you’ll love the heart-beating nervousness of a swing bridge. We have full faith in the DOC engineers but it still gets me every time. The Falls River swing bridge is early on in this section and makes for a great photo!

Next up is the Frenchman’s lagoon lookout. If you are lucky enough to be on this section during a higher tide you will get a spectrum of colors as slowly fills up and empties each day. This is one of my favourites and can be even better to be out on the kayaks!

After ducking back through the bush again you will emerge out in the Torrent Bay village. This is one of the few private settlements remaining that was established before the National Park was formed. A great beach down the front and also the infamous low tide crossing. I always love a low tide crossing but it is a double-edged sword as there is a great add on called Cleopatra’s Pool by taking the high tide route around the Torrent Bay Inlet.

The Barn Anchorage, te puke tea abel tasman
Te Pukatea and Anchorage Bay

Arriving at Anchorage

Once you find the Anchorage entrance it is just a short hike over the ridge and you down on the classic Anchorage Beach. If you can resist jumping in the ocean straight away, then head down to the Southern end of the beach and you will find flushing toilets and drinking water at the hut and campsites.

If you’re keen to keep the Journey going check out the Anchorage to Marahau section. Alternatively, you could do the Pitt Head and or Cleopatras Pools side trips and get a boat back out.

Tip #1 Bring a nice lunch and picnic for a stop at Anchorage. Maybe a couple of games like Kubbs or Skim Ball

Tip #2 For an added adventure try the pit head loop

How to Book?

Select Marahau to Bark Bay for the full walk back to Marahau. Approx. 7 hours walk.

Select Beaches & Bays for a boat to Bark Bay, then walk to Anchorage for the boat back out to Marahau

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