Abel Tasman Walk / Kayak 5 Days

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of New Zealand’s ’10 Great Walks’ – and for good reason. The mild climate, golden beaches and native forest shows off the wide variety and stunning beauty New Zealand has to offer.

One of New Zealand’s sunniest areas, the Abel Tasman National Park sits at the far northwest of the South Island. It features lush native forest, stunning beaches, impressive headlands, and sparkling rivers, rock pools and ocean bays.

Kayak on the coast with the rare dolphins, fur seals and penguins and visit native Tui and Pukeko in their bush homes in the same day.

Tour Type

Walking Tour

Kayaking Tour

Duration

5 days / 4 nights

Fitness

Price

NZ$2,415

Book now for Next Season!

Shoulder Season Price! - NZD$2265

  • Departs Tuesdays and Fridays. October - March.

Shoulder Season Dates! October 1 to 31, January 20 to 31, April 1 to 30.

Tour Itinerary

Price: NZ$2,415

Day 1

Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranui

7 km

Meadowbank Homestead

All aboard our Vista Cruise vessel! As we cruise from Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park, north to Totaranui we echo the contours of the spectacular Abel Tasman coastline. Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks and enjoy a hot drink from the cafe. From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the breathtaking expanse of the Awaroa inlet. A warm kiwi welcome to Meadowbank Homestead At Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family’s original home on the “finest site in the bay”.

  • Pick up Nelson (10.15 – 10.45 am) or Motueka (11.30 am) or if you are self driving please meet at our office by 11.30 am. Low season departures (19 April to 19 October) have an earlier start time. See Start/Finish Times (below) for more details.
  • Meet your guide at our Motueka office for a welcome briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation, before departing to Kaiteriteri by coach.
  • 1.00 pm: Vista Cruise departs Kaiteriteri for a fast, safe, comfortable cruise along the National Park coastline. Hot & cold drinks, open and enclosed viewing decks and bathroom facilities on board.
  • From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the tidal inlet at Awaroa.
  • Either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanses of the largest inlet on the coast.
  • Welcome to Meadowbank Homestead At Awaroa, with pre-dinner drinks and fine food.  Here you’ll find comfortable accommodation full of history and kiwi charm.

Approximate Times: 
Scenic drive to Kaiteriteri from Nelson (1 hour) or Motueka (20 mins)
Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui – 1.5 hours
Walk – 2.5 hours (7 kms, 4.5 miles) including tidal crossing
Maximum elevation 60 m (200 ft)

Meals included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

Day 2

Explore Awaroa

Meadowbank Homestead

Wake up to a home-cooked breakfast and sweeping views across Awaroa inlet, the largest tidal estuary in Abel Tasman National Park.  Enjoy the comfortable surroundings of the lodge and perhaps a coffee on the verandah watching the movement of the tides over golden sand. Then, let your guide design your day to be as active or relaxed as you wish with another night at Meadowbank Homestead.

Options include:

  • Explore Awaroa estuary on foot or by kayak (tides permitting)
  • Visit early European and pre-European historical sites
  • Unwind on the beach
  • Relax and enjoy the comforts of Meadowbank Homestead.

Approximate Times: 
Walking time: up to 4 hours (optional)
Optional kayaking: up to 2 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Awaroa to Torrent Bay

Walk 5 km, Kayak 10km

Torrent Bay Lodge

Wake to breakfast overlooking the gardens of Meadowbank Homesead, watching the movement of the tides over golden sands.  Walk with your Guide to the golden expanse of Onetahuti Beach then paddle to Torrent Bay, through Tonga Island Marine Reserve and exploring hidden inlets along the way.

  • 9.30 am, depart Awaroa for the scenic walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti. Here, your guide will settle you into your kayaks with full training and safety brief. Don’t worry, you won’t leave the beach until your guide is satisfied you can safely negotiate the coast in your kayak. (If you are a travelling on your own, your Guide will find a suitable paddling partner for you).
  • Weather permitting, there’s the opportunity to visit the Seal Colony on Tonga Island where New Zealand fur seals breed. It’s often possible to spot new-born pups here in December and January.
  • Enjoy the sensation of paddling through the clear turquoise waters of the Park as we cruise past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, where your guide will explain the history of this granite area, pointing out some of the unusual natural features and relics from the historic quarry.
  • Midday, stop for lunch at sheltered Bark Bay, where you can take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand
  • After lunch, we continue our paddle, beach hopping along the coast with picture-postcard views, including the Falls River and Frenchman’s Bay,
  • At around 4.30 pm paddle into Torrent Bay to be welcomed with refreshments and a hot shower in your ensuite room.

Approximate times: 
Walk Awaroa to Onetahuti 1.5 hours 5 kms (3 miles)
Max elevation 85 m (280 ft)
Sea Kayak Onetahuti to Torrent Bay 4 hours (10 kms. 6 miles)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Explore Torrent Bay

Torrent Bay Lodge

A day of choices! Let your guide plan an adventurous or relaxing day to suit you with another night at Torrent Bay Lodge, right on the beach.

Options include:

  • Walk through breathtaking first generation forest, up to the waterfalls on Falls River;
  • Canoe or walk around the estuary and visit the peaceful grotto of Cleopatra’s Pool;
  • Walk to the golden expanse of Anchorage beach and picturesque Te Pukatea cove, visiting historic Maori sites at Pitt Head along the way;
  • Relax on the beach at Torrent Bay.

Approximate Times:
Optional walking: up to 5 hours (10 kms)
Optional canoeing: tide dependant

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri to Motueka/Nelson

Kayak 12 km

Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before a hearty home-cooked breakfast to set you up for another day of scenic paddling.

    • Around 9.30 am we leave Torrent Bay by kayak and glide southwards along the coast, to discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D’urville in 1827.
    • Paddle the idyllic waters of Te Pukatea Bay.  In the sheltered Astrolabe Roadstead, paddle along the picturesque coast of Adele Island, now a predator-free sanctuary ringing with birdsong.
    • If the wind is with you, your guide will help you hoist a specially designed sail so you can ride the sea breeze.
    • We’ll stop for lunch and a rest at any one of the bays, before we continue our journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where our driver will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Motueka (4.30 pm) or Nelson (5.30 – 6.00 pm).**

Approximate times: 
Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms)
Scenic drive Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1 hour)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch

 

Start/Finish times

The direction of this trip may be reversed on some departures with earlier pick up in Nelson (7.15 – 7.40 am) and Motueka (8.15 am).

This early pick up applies to all departures after NZ daylight savings time ends at the beginning of April.

If Start/Finish times don’t suit your itinerary, please contact us to make alternative arrangements.

Please confirm the start/finish time with us before you book connecting airline flights.

 

Important Additional Information

Kayaking or walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services. If you find that sea kayaking is not for you, you have the option of joining the 5 Day Walk group that is walking the kayaking sections of this itinerary. This flexibility is perfect for couples or groups that want to visit the park together but don’t all want to kayak, some preferring to walk or boat between lodges.

We reserve the right to alter itineraries, timetables and vessel types. All travel subject to weather and tides which may cause delay/cancellation.

What's included?

Accommodation

  • Days One and Two: Based on an original 1884 homestead the lodge has double/ twin guest rooms with ensuite bathrooms, lounge, dining room and in-house bar.
  • Days Three and Four: Originally built as a holiday home and extended to 13 bedrooms the lodge has double / twin ensuite rooms on a nautical theme, bar, dining room and outside deck for relaxing.

Double or twin share. If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of the walk.

 

Food

  • Day 1 meals: Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.
  • Day 2 meals: Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Day 3 meals: Breakfast, morning and afternoon teas, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 4 meals: Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Day 5 meals: Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea.

You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings.

If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking.

All meals are included in your tour cost. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.

 

Luggage

Your luggage will be transported for the duration of the tour.
All you carry is a small day pack with your personal gear, drink and lunch. We do the rest

 

An experienced guide

Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.

 

All transport

 

Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

 

NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)

 

Safety and Risk Management

To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.

 

*This tour is run in conjunction with another operator

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