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Abel Tasman Track

5 Days & 4 Nights
  • Walk New Zealand’s Abel Tasman Track, a coastal paradise
  • Idyllic golden beaches, crystal clear waters and native wildlife, such as the fur seal
  • Discover Cleopatra’s Pool, a natural pond with a moss-lined water slide
  • Cross a 47m suspension bridge over the Falls River
  • The scenic splendour of New Zealand’s smallest national park
Soak up the sunshine on our Abel Tasman Track tour, as featured in The Telegraph, New Zealand’s most relaxed long-distance Great Walk. A picturesque mix of inviting sandy beaches, lush coastal forest and pristine clear streams that tumble into the sea. The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest and you will be immersed in scenic splendour during your 4 days of walking here. It was established in 1942, exactly 300 years after Abel Tasman, the Dutch explorer anchored here. Situated at the very north of the South island, you will see a great diversity of wildlife, including fur seals and little blue penguins. Experience a variety of accommodations including very comfortable and stunningly located lodges and a boat moored in Anchorage Bay.

What To Expect

This track showcases the very best that the Abel Tasman National Park has to offer. Not only this but it is also rated easy to moderate so the majority of walkers will be comfortable “tramping” these mostly smooth trails. Both wild and bird life are prevalent, from the basking fur seals on the edge of Tonga Island, to the little blue penguins that dive for their dinner in the turquoise seas.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers, Families, Multi-Generational, Avid Adventurers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Coastal & Island

Inspiration:

  • Most Popular

Activity Level & Terrain

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 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.

Navigation

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.

Accommodations

This tour has a variety of accommodations. 1 Night will be spent in a B&B or hotel in either Nelson or Motueka (its your choice). 1 Night will be spent on the Aquapackers Boat in a private cabin and 2 Nights in very comfortable lodges along the track.

The accommodation normally used is detailed below. However we may use alternatives of a similar standard should the dates you request not be available. This is particularly true on Night 2 at the Aquapackers Boat as the accommodation here is limited. Alternatives for this is the option to stay in a large tent at Anchorage Campground, complete with a camp guide who will prepare your meals. They have air mattresses with a duvet and pillows and this is a “glamping-type” experience. There are no hot showers at the campground, just a cold water outside shower. Alternatively you can take a short water taxi ride back to Marahau and stay in a modern, stylish B&B. This requires a water taxi back to Anchorage the following morning so you may continue with your walk. Also no dinner is included with this option, but you have a choice of restaurants in Marahau.

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.

Included
  • 1 Night in a B&B in Nelson
  • 1 Night in a private cabin with shared facilities on the Aquapackers boat in Anchorage Bay
  • 2 Nights in Lodges (Awaroa and Ratanui)
  • 2 Breakfasts (on Aquapackers boat and Ratanui Lodge)
  • 4 Packed lunches
  • 1 Dinner (if staying on Aquapackers boat)
  • Luggage transportation
  • Transfer from Nelson/Motueka to Marahau
  • Transfer from Totaranui to Ratanui Lodge
  • Short shuttle from Ratanui Lodge to Wainui Car Park
  • Water taxi Totaranui to Marahau
  • Transfer Marahau to Nelson/Nelson Airport
  • Information Pack and personalised itinerary
  • Access to the Macs Smartphone App with GPS Tracks
  • Full briefing on day 2 of your itinerary in Marahau
  • 24-7 Emergency telephone support
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • 3 Dinners
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel to & From Nelson
  • ETA & IVL requests (mandatory as per 1 Oct 2019)
Extras
  • Rental Car
  • Additional nights

When To Go

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 in 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.

Why not try one of our alternate walks in New Zealand too, such as the Queen Charlotte,  Routeburn, Kepler, Milford or Kaikoura Coast Track?

Time of Year

The best time of year to walk the Abel Tasman Track is between October and April, during the spring, summer and Autumn/fall months. Also this is when all of the accommodations are open. The weather will be more settled during these times of year, although it can be unpredictable at any time of year. 

Getting to the Start

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.

We offer car rental so you will have to check with your Destination & Adventure Specialist about the details on this.

You may have also been using a rental car to get around before the start of your Abel Tasman Track, if this is the case you can simply follow the directions on the accommodation list to the first place you are staying in Nelson or Motueka. Our local hosts can provide secure parking while you are on the track.

* 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 the 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.

Getting from the End

A transfer is included on the final day to either Nelson or Nelson Airport, so you can make your way onward journeys from here.

Luggage Transfer

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 in Marahau for your extra luggage (although there is a cost involved if it needs to be transported to Nelson) and 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 liter duffel bags made by Macpac, a well-known outdoor equipment company founded in New Zealand.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack. On this tour we can provide you with the essential equipment for this tour locally.

Car Rental

We can arrange car rental for your trip. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.

Equipment

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.

here 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.

 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Nelson & Overnight Day 2 Transfer to Marahau. Walk to Anchorage Bay 8 miles / 13 km Day 3 Walk to Awaroa Inlet 12 miles / 19 km Day 4 Walk to Totaranui 5.5 miles / 9 km Day 5 Walk Wainui to Totaranui 9.5 miles / 15 km

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