Abel Tasman, a protected national park of green jewelled coastline lying in the blue sheltered waters of northwest New Zealand, is an amazing travel experience. Get away from it all on the Abel Tasman Coast Track, a journey where bush and creeks meet golden sands and turquoise blue sea, this is really one of New Zealand’s most beautiful Great Walks.
Abel Tasman National Park has long been a popular spot for walkers as well as kayakers. Using the local water taxis, you can do day walks and then return to the comfort of the Lodge in the afternoon. The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is perfect for all ages and fitness levels.
Most walkers explore the Abel Tasman Coast Track over a few days, following the 54km trail to unspoiled coves, where lazy seals sunbathe and seabirds paddle in the tide. There are endless opportunities to go swimming or snorkelling in the clear water. Or you can simply sit, soak up the sun and watch the sea wash in and out.
Beginning in Marahau, the Abel Tasman Coast Track winds north along the coast to finish at remote (and difficult to get to) Wainui Bay.
Scheduled water taxi services leaving from next door to the Abel Tasman Lodge offer pick up and drop offs at a number of bays as far north as Totaranui, making it easy and ideal for day trips, while relaxing at the Lodge in the evening.
Highlights of Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Some of the highlights of each of the sections of the Coastal Track
Marahau to Anchorage
At the end of road in Marahau you cross the estuary over the Marahau causeway, and follow the track, first through open country, then lush beech forest with large kānuka trees. The track eventually turns inland, winding in and out of several little gullies before emerging to a view of the beautiful Anchorage Bay.
Anchorage to Bark Bay
Torrent Bay estuary can be crossed within 2 hours either side of low tide, or you can take the all-tide track around it and a side-trip to Cleopatra’s Pools – a beautiful rock pool with clear cool (read cold!)water is a nice swimming hole . An impressive 47-metre long suspension bridge takes you over Falls River. You’ll then meander through lush coastal forest before being led back to the sea and the idyllic golden sands of Bark Bay.
Bark Bay to Aawaroa
Cross the beautiful Bark Bay estuary 2 hours either side of low tide or follow the all-tide track (10 minutes) around the edge of the estuary. A steep climb takes you through stands of mānuka. Return to the coast at Tonga Quarry and it’s a short walk from there to Onetahuti Bay, where one of the longest beaches in the Abel Tasman stretches before you. The track then leads over the forested Tonga Saddle and descends to the tranquil Awaroa Inlet.
Awaroa to Totaranui
Awaroa Inlet can only be crossed within 1 hour 30 minutes before and 2 hours after low tide. Along the track, the scenery alternates between sandy beaches and rocky headlands of regenerating kānuka.
Throughout the Abel Tasman National Park you will find flowering rata, green ferns, and native orchids can be seen and curious birds bring the bush to life as weka, bellbird, fantail and tomtit accompany you along the easy, well-marked track.
Famous for its reliably sunny weather, walks can be enjoyed here all year round.