Hiking

Abel Tasman Coast Track

This is a Great Walk of unsurpassed beauty. The ultimate in gorgeous beaches, bright blue sea and dense native forest tumbling down to rocky coves. The track is very well maintained and the terrain is easy going so its suitable for all sorts of hikers too. Welcome to the most popular tramp in New Zealand.

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Activity in brief

Distance:
38 - 51km
Duration:
4 - 5 days
Start - End:
Marahau - Totaranui
Transport:
Boat, Bus, Vehicle Transfer

Terrain: Easy with a few uphill sections. Some shallow river crossings

Accommodation: Private Lodge, Designated Great Walk Huts.

Nearest Town: Kaiteriteri, Marahau

Activity Overview


The Abel Tasman region definitely lives up to its reputation as a paradise on earth. The beauty of the golden sandy beaches, glittering blue waters, strange granite rock formations and deep green forested hills combine with weather that is usually benign and sunny to create a jaw dropping spectacle. This area was also the site of the first contact between Maori and Europeans when the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman visited here in 1642.

The walk itself follows the coastline within Abel Tasman National Park – NZ’s smallest and most visited. You will get fantastic views across Tasman Bay, traverse a marine reserve with its seal colony and marvel at the massive tidal range that reduces a wide river estuary into a shallow stream ready to be crossed on foot.

At the end of an easy day walking through all this natural splendour you will find yourself at your accommodation in a dreamy beachfront location: perfect time for a swim and a relax. If you are looking for a little extra luxury then opt for staying in a private, fully catered, waterfront lodge. You can even get your luggage moved for you, so no heavy packs to cart around!

Itineraries

Personalised Itineraries

Water taxis allow for great flexibility on the track allowing you to walk the Abel Tasman in a way that suits you; reducing or lengthening your walk, starting or finishing in a place of your choosing or even missing out a section if you like - this is an especially useful feature if you have younger kids with you. It’s also possible to combine your walk with some kayaking too: this give a really different  perspective on this awesome National Park!

You can also combine this walk with any other activity on this website to create your own unique itinerary. When you develop your own tailor-made itinerary with us, it's fully customised with your choice of activities, accommodation and transport around New Zealand. Contact us today and we can help you with some great advice and organise all the details for you. 


OR SIMPLY BOOK ONE OF THESE OPTIONS...
Four Day Classic Independent Walk 
  • Hut accommodation on the track and water taxi transportation from Totaranui back to Marahau included. 
  • Select an upgrade to luxury accommodation at Awaroa Lodge if you wish.
  •  transfers available.

Day One: Marahau to Anchorage (11.5km 4 Hours). The first day on the track takes you from the start point at Marahau through open country, then lush native forest, to Anchorage Bay, where you spend the night in the Great Walk Hut.

Day Two: Anchorage to Bark Bay (9.5km 3 Hours). The next day sees you head for stunning Bark Bay. For a short-cut Torrent Bay estuary can be crossed within 2 hours either side of low tide, or you can take the all-tide track around it. The trail winds through lush coastal forest before being led back to the sea where you will spend your second night at the Bark Bay Great Walk Hut.

Day Three: Bark Bay to Awaroa (11.5km 4 Hours). This is going to be another spectacular day on the trail as you walk to Awaroa. A bit of a climb takes you through stands of mānuka. Return to the coast at Tonga Quarry and then 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 before dropping down to Awaroa. Spend your last night at Awaroa Great Walk Hut or treat yourself to some luxury at the stunning Awaroa Lodge eco retreat. 

Day Four: Awaroa to Totaranui (5.5km 2 Hours). Your final day on the trail takes you to Totaranui. Awaroa Inlet can only be crossed within 1 hour 30 minutes before and 2 hours after low tide. We will give you the timings for  Along the track, the scenery alternates between sandy beaches and rocky headlands of regenerating kānuka. You will get picked up from Totaranui by boat and returned to Marahau. 

Pricing: Four Day Classic Independent Walk 

*Spring Deals - Get 10% off the normal rate on all bookings starting before 30th November 2019. Must be booked online - Enter Promo Code: Active1

 

From NZD$185 per adult and from NZD$25 per child. Includes hut accommodation and water taxi transportation from Totaranui to Marahau. 

Luxury Lodge Accommodation Upgrade: From NZD$175 per person, per night.

Luggage Transfers: From NZD$64 per person. 

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Two Day Luxury Independent Walk
  • Luxury Eco Lodge accommodation on the track included.
  • Water taxi transportation included.
  • Luggage transfers included.

Day One: Bark Bay to Awaroa (11.5km 4 Hours). Start early in the morning in Marahau where you meet you water taxi - then its a swift journey to Bark Bay where you start your walk to Awaroa. A bit of a climb takes you through stands of mānuka. Return to the coast at Tonga Quarry and then 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 before dropping down to Awaroa. Shortly you'll find yourself at the stunning and luxurious Awaroa Lodge eco retreat. Here you can relax in the comfort of your well appointed ensuite room, with your luggage delivered and waiting, and enjoy beautiful food in the top end restaurant.

Day Two: Explore Awaroa. You can enjoy a lazy morning and great breakfast today as there's no rush to get out on the trail. Spend the morning exploring Awaroa inlet - with luck the tide will be out exposing vast areas of white sand. There are also plenty of other walks you can do around here or alternatively rent a kayak for a couple of hours or just relax on the beach - it's up to you! After lunch your water taxi will pick you up and return you to Marahau.

Pricing: Two Day Luxury Independent Walk

*Spring Deals - Get 10% off the normal rate on all bookings starting before 30th November 2019. Must be booked online - Enter Promo Code: Active1

 

From NZD$350 per adult and from NZD$220 per child. Includes accommodation, all transportation and luggage transfers.

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Guided Day Walk
  • Includes guiding with local, knowledgable and friendly guide.
  • Includes tasty lunch, homemade snacks, beverages.
  • Includes transportation to/from Nelson.

Marahau to Anchorage (12.5km, 4 Hours).

Experience a taste of what the Abel Tasman has to offer.  This walk closely follows the coastline with lovely views across several bays and beaches.  After an early morning pick up from Nelson, you are driven to Marahau where the Abel Tasman Coast Track starts. Along the way you will enjoy interesting stories and interpretations from your local guide. Stop for a picnic lunch and a chance for a swim at the picturesque Apple Tree Bay. After lunch you gently ascend over a saddle and then drop down into Anchorage, a sheltered haven for boats and kayaks. Enjoy an exciting ride back to Marahau by water taxi – a great opportunity to view this beautiful piece of coastline you have just walked, from the sea.

Pricing: Guided Day Walk

*Spring Deals - Get 10% off the normal rate on all bookings starting before 30th November 2019. Must be booked online - Enter Promo Code: Active1

 

From NZD$245 per person.

Book Now

Activity Planning

When to go

The climate in the Abel Tasman allows this tramp to be completed at any time of year. Beware though: the main summer months are manically busy. If you can avoid December through to the end of February, you should. March is a great time to visit as the weather is usually still lovely and the crowds have dwindled somewhat.

The estuary crossings can only be done at certain times depending upon the tide. We can help you plan for this.

What to bring

Wet weather gear

Light walking shoes (that you can get off easily when it’s time to wade across the shallows)

Hat 

Sunscreen

Large water bottle

Insect repellant

First-aid kit

Torch

Communication device

Sleeping bag

All your food, gas cooker, plates, bowls, utensils etc.

Accommodation
Accommodation on the trail

 

Huts

We will arrange your accommodation in the Department of Conservation Great Walk Huts along the track. They feature toilets, fresh water, mattresses, tables, benches and heating.

For more information about backcountry huts in New Zealand please checkout our Accommodation page.

 

Awaroa Lodge

If you want to treat yourself to a shower, a lovely meal and sleep in a real bed then we can offer accommodation in a luxurious lodge on your final night on the track. Surrounded by pristine waterways and native forest, the lodge has been constructed to make the most of its secluded location. Choose from charming accommodation options; Standard or Family rooms and the luxurious architecturally designed Superior Suites. The main lodge is warm, inviting and full of character with a comfy lounge, library, bar, restaurant and outdoor pizzeria. Luxury Lodge Accommodation Upgrade: From NZD$100 per person per night.

 

Accommodation in Nelson-Tasman

We can organise your accommodation in the Nelson-Tasman region for before and after your walk if you wish. Please let us know what sort of accommodation you are looking for when you make your booking for this activity, and we can discuss the options with you.

Transportation
Four Day Walk - Water Taxi

When you have finished your walk at Totaranui you will be picked by water taxi and returned to Marahau. The exact time of this pick up will depend on when the daily low tide makes your crossing of the Awaroa estuary possible - we can check the tides for the date of your walk and organise a pick up time that suits you best. 

Guided Day Walk - Shuttle-Bus and Water-Taxi

You are picked up in Nelson at around 8.30am and driven out to Marahau (about 1 hour). When you reach Anchorage a water-taxi will return you to Marahau and then you are driven back to Nelson, arriving about 5.30pm.

Personalised Itineraries - Water taxi, shuttle bus and vehicle relocation options available

If you want to develop your own personalised walk with us then we can organise all the transportation. For example if you want to skip a certain part of the track, you can be transferred from one section to another if you wish. You can also be transported to and from your chosen start and finish points. These options are especially useful if you are walking with younger children. Contact us for more information on how to personalise your walk and your transport requirements.

What else?
More great things to do in this region...

 

Biking

The Heaphy Track can also be completed on a mountain bike from May to September. You should also checkout our options for the world famous and epically challenging Old Ghost Road mountain biking trail which is located nearby. 

Click on these links for more information:

Heaphy Track  

Old Ghost Road 

 

Kayaking

Kayaking is a great way to explore the Abel Tasman National Park. We have some fantastic single day or multi-day trips to choose from, or you can create your own personalised kayaking itinerary with us.

You can find out more here...

 

Sky Diving

Add a tandem skydive to your Abel Tasman adventure! Jump from 9,000 to 16,500 feet

 

Sailing

We can organise a range of stunning half or full day sailing trips in the beautiful Abel Tasman for you. You can even substitute a water-taxi transfer for a sail instead!

 

If you want to include any of these activities in your itinerary or just want find out more information contact us today!

Route Map
Get in touch

For more information about us or our services contact us on
+ 64 3 390 1584
or email us at [email protected]

Enquire Now