Plan and 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.

Services

Marahau Water Taxi runs scheduled services up and down the Abel Tasman throughout the day.

Weather & Tides

It’s always best to check the weather and tides before you go.

What to  Bring

When packing remember that you are going into the outdoors. Pack smartly.

Book your Stay

You must pre-book all accommodation before you enter the Park.

Marahau Water Taxi Services

Marahau Water Taxi services depart from Marahau 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.

Marahau Water Taxis 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.

Weather and Tides

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:
From/To Walking Time Distance
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

Things to Bring

When packing remember that you are going into the outdoors. Pack smartly so that you can carry all of your gear easily.

Day Trips: Shorts, t-shirt, sandals or shoes, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, towel, swimwear, insect repellent, water bottle, warm change of clothes and any personal medication.

Overnight Trips: Everything listed for day trips plus a rain jacket, toiletries, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and cooking utensils.

Food, Water & Cooking Equipment

You will need to bring your own food & refreshments with you and, if you’re camping out, you will need cooking equipment and utensils.

The only place in the park where you can buy food and refreshments is at the Awaroa Lodge & Cafe so be prepared.

Water in the campsites is often unsuitable for drinking without boiling, filtering or purifying it first. Filtered drinking water is supplied at Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa, Totaranui and Whariwharangi campsites for refills during your trip.

Camping Equipment

You need to bring your own camping equipment if you are spending a night in the Park:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat
  • Cooker
  • Pot
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Torch/flash light

We have a full range of camping equipment available for hire through the Abel Tasman Centre if you don’t have your own gear.

Accommodation

You must pre-book all accommodation before you enter the Park. We offer Department of Conservation campsite and hut booking services free to all of our kayaking clients.

Campsite prices are as follows:

In the peak season 1 October – 30 April:
New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand:

Adult (18+ years): $15 per person, per night
Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:
Adult (18+ years): $30 per person, per night
Child (17 years and under): $30 person, per night

Huts prices are as follows:

In the peak season from 1 October – 30 April:
New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand:

Adult (18+ years): $38 per person, per night
Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:
Adult (18+ years): $75 per person, per night
Child (17 years and under): $75 per person, per night

In the off-peak season 1 May – 30 September:
Adult (18+ years): $32 per person, per night
Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

Advance booking is a must for all accommodation options in the Park.