With a size of 225.3 sq km this is New Zealand's smallest national park bordering Golden and Tasman Bay. The crystal clear water and marine reserve is a feature of this diverse and naturally beautiful area.
Starting and finishing at Marahau, the Abel Tasman Exerience takes 3 days to complete.
Minimum 2 hikers to do this walk.
Day 1: Kayak Marahau to Anchorage Hutt (paddling 3-4 hrs / walk 1.2 hrs)
Prior to your start from Marahau you will receive a full briefing on safety and weather, an updated forecast and map orientation. Once you are made familiar with your equipment and kayak, your journey over the aqua coloured waters of Tasman National Park coast begins as you make your way to Anchorage Hut. Depending on your pace and mood, feel free to explore the islands, observe the wildlife and lush vegetation as wander golden sandy beaches on your way to your first stopover.
Once settled at the Anchorage campsite an option to stretch the legs after paddling is taking a loop track to Te Pukatea Bay and onto the old pa site at Pitt Head. The 1hour and 20 minute walk gives commanding views of the Abel Tasman coast.
Day 2: Anchorage Hut to Onetahuti / Onetahuti to Awaroa Hut (paddling 3-4 hrs / walk 2 hrs)
This morning paddle your way from Anchorage to Onetahuti. Kayak through the middle of the Tonga Island Marine Reserve. Tonga Island has one of the largest seal populations in the park so keep an eye out for seals that share the coastal waters. On arrival at Onetahuti you will need to leave your kayaks here before continuing on the next part of your journey. Cross the tidal stream and follow the track that climbs through bush over Tonga Saddle and then decends to Awarao Inlet, following the shoreline to Awaroa Hut. Note: The stream can be only be crossed within 3 hours either side of low tide.
Day 3: Awaroa Hut to Totaranui Campsite
You have the option of walking to Totaranui (5.5km / 1.5 hours walking).
With a morning low tide, you must cross the Awaroa Inlet 1.5 hrs before or up to 2 hrs after low tide. Once across, you head over a saddle before going down to Waiharakeke Bay and the native forest beyond. Enjoy a meander through the native growth and birdlife before re-emerging onto the coast at Goat Bay. An ascent then brings you to stunning outlook above Skinners Point before the days final descent to Totatanui Campsite and a water taxi back to Marahau.
Otherwise, if you are there for an afternoon tide you can stay at the Awaroa Hut and get picked up by water taxi from there.
Staff will discuss your options in detail as well provide you with a full itinerary and tide times following confirmation of your package.