Abel Tasman Track in Comfort
- The Abel Tasman Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks
- Stay in deluxe and superior rooms in stunningly located accommodations
- Idyllic pristine golden beaches, crystal clear waters and native wildlife
- Walk across an impressive 47m suspension bridge over the Falls River
- Enjoy the scenic splendour of New Zealand’s smallest national park
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Nelson and overnight
Start your adventure in Nelson, a bustling town conveniently located close to the local airport (8 km). From here you can take a taxi or shuttle bus into the town centre. Enjoy the local produce in excellent restaurants and explore the beautiful surroundings that lure artists here with its sunny climate.
This modern centrally-located hotel is situated right on the river and just a few minutes walk from Nelson’s main shopping area. It is locally-owned and they will look after you in an authentically kiwi way. There are 47 rooms, many with Maitai River, poolside or Nelson city views and private balconies.
Enjoy an early start to the day as you transfer from your accommodation in Nelson to the start of the trip in Marahau (1h15m). Or if you are renting a car, you can easily drive to Marahau and leave your car parked here until you finish your adventure. Please let us know if you are self-driving so we can make the necessary arrangements. Upon arrival, you will be met by our local partner to check-in your bags for the luggage transfers, receive your packed lunch and receive a full briefing before setting off.
From here take a water taxi to Torrent Bay. This section of the track is often considered the best part, with the regenerating beech forest interspersed with amazing golden sand beaches that the Abel Tasman is famous for. Walk over the Falls River on a very impressive suspension bridge, before winding your way along the track through verdant coastal forest. Walk over the golden sands of Bark Bay, before heading inland over a small peninsula and over the Tonga Saddle and Quarry. It’s a short walk from here to Onetahuti Bay which is one of the longest beaches on the Abel Tasman Track. Cross a boardwalk and finish your day in Awaroa Inlet, with its pristine beaches.
Overnight in the wonderful Awaroa Lodge in a superior room.
If preferred, it is also possible to half the walking distance by catching a water taxi to Bark Bay rather than Torrent Bay. Then continue walking for 3,5 hours and reach Awaroa Lodge.
Cross Awaroa Inlet to Pound Gully where you can see the virgin beech forest and also the huge Rata trees that cling precariously to the headlands. Walk across two golden sand beaches, Waiharakeke Bay and Goat Bay on your way to Totaranui and in between the two there is a great lookout at Skinners Point offering stunning panoramic views.
Upon arrival in Totaranui can try an additional loop walk if you would like, the Pukatea Loop Track, before meeting the land shuttle to the wonderful Ratanui Lodge where you will stay in one of their luxury rooms. Tonight enjoy an included 3-course dinner in their highly-rated restaurant.
After breakfast, a short shuttle to Wainui car park takes you to the last section of your walk. From Wainui, you are on the less travelled section of the track. The views of Wainui Inlet as you climb up into the native forest are stunning. The route today takes you up and over to Whariwharangi, before heading on to Mutton Cove and Anapai Beach and arriving at Totaranui.
Once at Totaranui the AquaTaxi will pick you up and return you past all those golden sand beaches to Marahau. The included land transport to Nelson departs conveniently from the AquaTaxi base dropping you in Nelson around 6 pm.
This is the end of your Abel Tasman Track in Comfort and from Nelson, you can either spend an extra night or make your onward journey.
Other InformationIs it for me?
If you want to walk on the most easy-going Great Walk in New Zealand, where wildlife is very prevalent, the coastal views are second-to-none, staying in a hotel and lodges in first-class rooms, then this 4-day self-guided itinerary is for you. With turquoise seas, golden beaches and mostly smooth trails enjoy this “tramp” on the Abel Tasman Track.
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 12 Years
Rated easy to moderate, this track has a few elevation gains and losses. It is undulating, although there are some steep sections. You will mainly be walking on beaches, on coastal paths, and through the forest. The terrain can be rough at times but is usually smooth. It is important to note that on this track there are 3 tidal estuaries that need to be crossed. Whilst there are high tide routes at Torrent and Bark Bay these are less fun than the low tide alternatives. At Awaroa Inlet you have no choice but to walk across the estuary. Please see the Availability section for more details on this.
This tour provides accommodations that are at the deluxe end of the scale. At each accommodation, you will always be booked in either the deluxe, or superior options and in Nelson a Spa Studio.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. We welcome solo walkers on the Abel Tasman Track, although you should, of course, take extra care in the outdoors when walking solo and there is also a solo supplement payable.
2 Breakfasts will be provided by your accommodation. However, breakfast in Nelson is not included and you will have to purchase breakfast yourself here. Whilst hiking on the Abel Tasman Track 3 packed lunches will be provided. A 3-course dinner is included at Ratanui Lodge in their highly-rated restaurant. At Awaroa Lodge there is a restaurant and you can find plenty of local restaurants in Nelson.
The track is well marked and signposted, and if you stick to the main track, there is very little chance of losing your way. This track involves tidal crossings. Our local hosts will provide information on this as you book, as it may require some flexibility with your itinerary, according to the tides. We also provide a track guide and GPX tracks are accessible on the Macs Smartphone App, so you can simply follow the route on your phone if you wish.
- 1 Night in a hotel in Nelson (Spa Studio Room)
- 1 Night at Awaroa Lodge (Superior Room)
- 1 Night in Ratanui Lodge (Luxury Room)
- 2 Breakfasts (at Awaroa Lodge and Ratanui Lodge)
- 3 Packed lunches
- 1 three-course dinner at Ratanui Lodge
- Luggage transportation
- Transfer from Nelson to Marahau and Marahau to Nelson
- Transfer from Totaranui To Ratanui Lodge
- Transfer Ratanui Lodge to Wainui Car Park
- Water taxis from Marahau to Torrent Bay and Totaranui to Marahau
- Information Pack and personalised itinerary
- Access to the Macs Smartphone App with GPS Tracks
- Arrival briefing in Marahau
- 24-7 Emergency telephone support
- Travel insurance (required)
- Travel To & From Nelson
- 1 Breakfast
- 2 Dinners
- Drinks & Snacks
- ETA & IVL requests (mandatory as per 1 Oct 2019)
- Additional nights
- Rental car (if required)
The best time of year to walk the Abel Tasman Track is between October and April, during the Spring, Summer, and Autumn/Fall months. This is also when all of the accommodations are open. The weather will be more settled during these times of the year, although it can be unpredictable at any time of year.
The Abel Tasman Track is one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks and therefore is extremely popular. You will have to book quite far in advance in order for us to be successful with confirming the dates you request, especially if you wish to travel at the height of the season which is February and March. (Between Christmas and New Year is also very popular). You can take this tour anywhere between October and April. To avoid disappointment please try to plan your trip well in advance ( at least 6-9 months), if possible.
Since this track has 3 tidal estuaries to cross and the accommodation is limited in one of the areas please bear in mind that when you book our local hosts will check the dates of your tour and may have to adjust your route/itinerary accordingly. For example, your itinerary could be reversed or changed according to the tides or indeed the availability of the accommodation. We will let you know if this is the case.
By Air: You can fly into and out of Nelson Airport which is located only 5 miles from central Nelson. There are domestic flights into Nelson from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Airports.
You can catch a taxi or a shuttle bus to get into Nelson from the airport. The shuttle bus needs to be booked in advance and you can check the following company website in order to arrange this, Jayride.
A transfer is also included on the final day to either Nelson or Nelson Airport, so you can make your way onward journeys from here. It departs from Marahau at 4:30pm. The journey time to the airport is approximately one hour so depending on traffic you should be arriving at the airport around 5:30pm. Alternatively they can drop you off in central Nelson.
* Please be aware that when booking flights from the UK to New Zealand you will arrive 2 days after you set off and on return you will arrive 1 day after you set off. So, for example, if you leave on a Tuesday you will arrive on a Thursday and on return if you leave on a Saturday you will arrive home on Sunday. This is obviously because of the time it takes to get there but also because you are travelling back and forth across the International Date Line. Similar principles apply when travelling from other places in Europe and from the USA and Canada. Please make sure that when you book you take this into consideration so that you are arriving on the correct day that the tour begins.
Overnight luggage is transferred by boat each day to be at your accommodation when you arrive. The luggage has to be lifted in and out of boats with no jetties around for easy unloading, so, for this reason, we ask our guests to follow the list of required items and pack lightly – aim for a bag weighing around 10kg (20 pounds). Our local partner provides free luggage storage for your extra luggage in Marahau. Special loaner bags for you to use for your overnight gear if required. Duffel bags or small suitcases suitable for carry-on luggage on airplanes are perfect for your Abel Tasman trip if you have them. One of the local staff will drop a loaner bag around to your accommodations along with your information/map pack for your trip if required.
The loaner bags are 50-litre duffel bags made by Macpac, a well-known outdoor equipment company founded in New Zealand. If you’d like to keep one as a souvenir of your Abel Tasman trip (complete with our company logo embroidered on it) they can be purchased for $80(NZD) each. Please take your luggage with you when you are being transferred to Marahau on Day 2.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, and a day pack. There are a couple of places along the track where you’ll be required to cross tidal estuaries and we strongly recommend the use of water shoes (crocs, sports sandals, etc) for these as there are sharp shells and small stones that can cut bare feet.
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