Please Note: The direction of this tour may be reversed on some departures, with an earlier start time.
If start/finish times do not suit your schedule, please contact us to arrange alternative options.
Remember: kayaking or walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services, or you can switch from kayaking to join groups walking that section of the track. The flexibility is perfect for parties travelling together but not wanting to do the same activities. Please discuss options with your guide before each day's departure.
Kayak safety: When sea and weather are calm, sea kayaking requires little skill or strength. However, although the beaches are sheltered, weather conditions can change rapidly, and you may have to paddle against the wind. If you follow our guides' instructions, your kayaking will be safe and fun. Our boat crew will provide full back-up if kayaking becomes too difficult. Double kayaks are used because of their stability, and the ease of having 2 people sharing the paddling.
Day 1: Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranu
Welcome to this exciting walking/kayaking tour of the Abel Tasman National Park. We'll pick you up from Nelson between 10.30 and 11 am, or from Motueka at about 11.40 am. If you are self-driving, please meet us at our Motueka office by quarter to 12. If we're starting our tour on a Wednesday, pick-up will be slightly earlier.
Once at the office, you'll meet your guide for the next 3 days, and be briefed on the upcoming tour. We have day packs available for loan if required, and we can safely store any valuables or excess baggage. There'll be time for a last-minute luggage check before boarding our comfortable coach to the sunny coastal town of Kaiteriteri.
From here, we'll enjoy a Vista Cruise along the National Park coastline to Totaranui (approx. 1.5 hrs). Hot and cold drinks are available on board, as are open and enclosed viewing decks, and bathroom facilities.
On arrival at Totaranui, we'll regroup for a 2 hour walk south (5.5. km plus tidal crossing) to Meadowbank Homestead, our beachfront homestead in Awaroa.
Meals included today are lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
After breakfast, we'll leave Awaroa, walking over the Tonga Saddle to the golden sands of the horse-shoe shaped Onetahuti beach. Here, you'll board your kayak and receive a full training and safety brief. You will not leave the beach until the guide is satisfied you're able to negotiate the coast safely.
If the weather is good, you can visit Tonga Island's seal colony. December and January are great times to see newborn seal pups.
Next, you'll kayak past the historic granite Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches. Your guide will tell you about the quarry's history and relics.
Then, we'll stop for lunch on the golden sands of stunning Bark Bay. We'll carry on beach-hopping, taking in points of interest including Falls River and Frenchman's Bay. We'll overnight at a beachfront lodge at Torrent Bay.
Meals included today are breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunch and dinner.
Day 3: Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri
On this, our final day, we'll paddle along the coast, discovering idyllic bays and beaches named by French explorer Dumont d'Urville in 1827. We'll cruise along the Astrolabe Roadstead, a safe harbour for yachts and other vessels. Other options include visiting the beautiful Pukatea and Appletree bays, or kayaking along the coast of Adele Island, home to many native birds. If wind conditions are right, your guide will help you hoist a specially-designed sail for riding the sea breeze.
We'll stop for lunch at one of the bays, and then continue on to Kaiteriteri. Our coach will meet you here at about 4 pm, to return you to Motueka (arriving approx. 4.30 pm) or Nelson (5.30 pm). We wish you well with your further adventures, knowing you'll leave with lasting memories of this beautiful place.
Meals included today are breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunch.
**This tour is run in conjunction with another operator.