Things to do and attractions in Abel Tasman

The Abel Tasman region offers so many attractions and ‘once in a lifetime’ travel experiences. From kayaking through crystal blue seas to walking through native New Zealand bush onto golden sand beaches.


As the Abel Tasman National Park is both small and close to the sea, it offers a wealth of opportunities and things to do for visitors. What’s more, the Abel Tasman Lodge accommodation is so close to many of them, which makes it easier for you to do more than just one activity during your stay.

If you have never kayaked before, this is the place to try it with sheltered waters and the chance to see marine life up close. We have three kayak companies within 200 metres of our Abel Tasman accommodation. Alternatively, use the water taxis (based next door to the Lodge) to see different parts of the park without having to spend five days hiking through it (not that that is a bad thing!).

For the more adventurous, why not try canyoning, definitely a highlight of things to do in the area. For those who want to learn a little more about the ecology of the Abel Tasman, you should consider Abel Tasman Eco Tours. The tours are a great way to take a short walk in the National Park, get off the beaten track, and learn something all at the same time.

The Abel Tasman region also has various attractions for those wanting something more relaxing, like award-winning wineries and great cafes and restaurants. What about catching your own salmon and having it cooked in your chosen style for your lunch or dinner. Whatever your preference, we’re pretty sure you’ll find it here in the Abel Tasman National Park region. So keep scrolling down and see what tempts you.

One piece of advice we’d offer! Make sure you stay long enough to enjoy several of the multitude of attractions in the Abel Tasman.

Water TaxiDrop off’s and pick up's within the park allowing you to do your short walks or day walks. All year roundAnyone
Sea KayakAbounded by golden beaches, peaceful coves and lagoons, the park is ideal for those who want to experience it in a kayak. Trips range from ½ day to multi- days.All year roundAnyone with a moderate level of fitness
Walking / HikingOf all of NZ's National Parks, the Abel Tasman suits walkers of all levels. From a few hours, half-day, full day or even longer.

Utilise the water taxis to walk different sections on different days.
All year roundAnyone with a moderate level of fitness
Horse TrekkingThe opportunity to ride along a beautiful golden sand beach. You never know you might even meet a film star from the Lord of the Rings.All year roundBeginners onwards
Mountain BikingTake advantage of the recently developed trails including the Great Taste Trails winding its way through towards wineries, boutique shops and cafés. The more serious bikers can enjoy sections of the National Park from May to August.All year round. Park - May to AugustModerate to experienced riders
CanyoningA variety of trip options cater for differing skill and thrill levels. A mix of walking through beautiful scenery and then descending down the valley at speed.Start of October to end of AprilActive people
Sky DiveA flight with stunning views as you climb to altitude over snow-capped mountains, golden beaches and turquoise oceans. Then sky dive in one of the top skydiving areas in the world.All year roundThrill seekers
Ngarua CavesWith its extensive and breathtaking variety of stalagmites and stalactites, Ngarua Caves also features an excellent skeletal display of the extinct Moa bird.All year roundPeople with all levels of fitness
Fly FishingFor the serious fisherman the nearby Motueka Rivers and those in Golden Bay offer very good fishing predominantly of brown trout and some chinook salmon.

Guided fishing trips are available.
Mostly October to AprilThe experienced angler
Farewell SpitSouth Islands most northerly point with panoramic views of the Tasman coast and ocean. See NZ's longest sandspit stretching for 35kms and formed from upto 20m high sand dunes. A chance to see migrant birds, seals and NZ natives. Top it off with a visit to an old lighthouse offering amazing views and a glimpse into life a century ago.All year roundAnyone
Arts & CraftsThere are a range of arts and crafts options - pottery, paintings, jewellery, sculpture, ceramics, woodworkers and much more are available in the region.All year roundAnyone
Anatoki SalmonEnjoy the unique experience of catching your own freshwater Salmon and then savour the taste of it over lunch or take it away vacuum packed for dinner at the Lodge.All year roundAnyone
WineriesThe Nelson / Tasman region has a wide range of award winning wineries, offering tastings, bottle sales and lunch. Do your own tour or join a guided one.All year round, but some are October to April.Adults, but children are definitely welcome
Craft Beer TourPrefer your beer, the Nelson Tasman region offers some of New Zealand’s finest craft beers, including NZ's oldest pub. Depending on your passion you can do a ½ day or full day trail. You’ll surely find a style to suit your taste.All year round, but some are October to April.Adults, but children are definitely welcome
Abel Tasman Eco TourA great trip exploring the coastline. The guide provides expert knowledge on flora and fauna of the areaAll year roundAnyone
Scenic FlightsAnything from a half hour over the National Park to the snow-capped mountains of the north-west south island and even further north to Farewell Spit.All year roundAnyone

Finding it difficult to decide how long to stay? Check out our example itinerary here.