Abel Tasman National Park by Kayak

The Abel Tasman is the mecca for kayaking in New Zealand. It’s the ultimate in golden sandy beaches, bright blue sea and all surrounded by steep, densely forested hills. There’s plenty of different camping options plus beautiful lodge accommodation if you are looking for more luxury, and you can combine kayaking with tramping on the Abel Tasman Great Walk too if you wish.

Let us tailor your adventure for you
call us on

+ 64 3 390 1584

Enquire Now

Activity in brief

1 - 5 days
Start - End:
Marahau - Marahau / Araroa - Marahau
Water Taxi

Accommodation: Private Lodge, Designated Great Walk Huts and Campsites

Nearest Town: Kaiteriteri, Marahau, Takaka

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.

Kayaking around this spectacular environment is a justifiably popular activity and there are a huge variety of options when it comes to your itinerary. You can paddle around for a day or two and return to where you started at Marahau, take a water taxi to the northern end of the park at Araroa and take a few days to kayak back to Marahau, or you can take up to five days to cover the entire coastline of the National Park. Water taxis allow for great flexibility transporting yourself, kayaks and gear wherever you need to be. You can also swap your paddles for shoes at any point and get out on the track if you want. 

At the end of the day you can pull up to a campsite or hut located 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.

Activity Planning

When to go

Late summer is a great time to kayak the Abel Tasman: the weather is still balmy and the seas are warm. There is also fewer hordes of people around too, this is after all the most popular National Park in New Zealand.

What to bring

We will organise your kayak rental along with all the necessary safety equipment and water proof bags for your gear. You will also receive a full safety briefing before you head out onto the water.

You will need to bring:

Waterproof jacket

Lots of warm clothes

Water bottle


Insect repellant

First-aid kit

If you are camping or staying in a hut:

Tent (if camping), sleeping bag

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


There are various Department of Conservation campsites that are right on the water's edge. They feature toilets, water supply and some have cooking shelters.


There are three Department of Conservation Huts in the park. They feature toilets, fresh water, mattresses, tables, benches and heating.


If you would rather get a shower, a lovely meal and sleep in a real bed then we can offer accommodation in a wonderful luxury lodge. Please contact us for more information.

Please select "Accommodation" on the map below for more details.

Active Aotearoa will arrange all your accommodation requirements for this activity, and can also offer suggestions for the rest of your stay in the region. Let us know what you want to do and leave the rest to us.


Boat transport for you and your kayak is available from Marahau or Kaiteriteri.

Please select "Transportation" on the map below for more details.

Active Aotearoa will arrange all your transportation requirements for this activity, let us know what you want to do and leave the rest to us.

Two Day Guided Kayak Tour

Enjoy a fully catered, truly NZ camping experience staying at a beachfront campsite with golden sand on your doorstep. Kayak from Onetahuti down to Anchorage and be enchanted from the moment you set eyes on your new found paradise. Tonga Island will not disappoint with its abundance of playful seals. Relax as your guide cooks your delicious NZ kai (food) for dinner and treats you to some kiwi classics. Rise and shine to a plentiful breakfast and embark on another breath-taking day. Kayak south to Marahau via the sheltered Astrolabe waters and visit the islands, bursting with seals and bird life.

Please contact us for more information.

What else?

Combining walking and kayaking is perfectly possible on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. If this appeals, let us know and we can set it up for you.

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