Kayaking Able Tasman National Park

Welcome to the Able Tasman National Park the only coastal national park in New Zealand and situated at the very top of the South Island. New Zealand boasts 14 national parks, with the Able Tasman being the smallest with a total area of 22,530 hectares. The park is covered in native bush, crisscrossed, with walking tracks and bordered by crystal green/blue seas, and white sandy bays the very traits that make Abel Tasman amongst the most popular coastal and park regions in New Zealand. Its secluded and sheltered bays are famous among adventure loving tourists and locals alike, as the park offers so activities to do, from cruising, sailing, hiking and sea kayaking experiences unlike anywhere in the area. The Abel Tasman Coast Track follows the coastline and meanders, through dense green native South Island bush, over limestone bluffs and snakes around the many golden sandy beaches that make this area so special. The Able Tasman Coast Track is thought of by DOC (or better know as Department of Conservation) as one of the 'New Zealand’s Great Walks'. The total length is 53 kilometers in length and people can walk the entire track in anywhere from three to five days. There are also water taxis available to access the relatively smaller sections of the park which are often not accessible by any other means. These water taxis operate from Marahau and Kaiteriteri, which are located in the southern end of the park, and also from Totaranui located at the northern end.

Tourists from around the world come to visit this natural and seemingly untouched paradise. This region is a true natural and almost untouched location; there are no roads within the park, many areas being accessible only by aqua taxi, on foot or by small plane. Travelers can access different regions of the park by walking from Marahau at the South of the park or from Wainui Bay to the north. Enjoy a swim in one of the Abel Tasman's enchanting bays or take a walk around the picturesque Abel Tasman Coastal Track. The Abel Tasman area also boasts a marine reserve. This reserve offers a shelter to the marine wildlife in the area which makes it a perfect place to snorkel or scuba dive; just see how big the crayfish can grow! Also within the park you can see Tonga Island New Zealand fur seals in the crystal clear water as they play and glide to show off to the spectators. The Tonga Island Marine Reserve prohibits fishing within a designated area within the park. The Abel Tasman National Park is close to Motueka, Nelson, Kaiteriteri, Upper Moutere, Tasman and Mapua. These areas offer many delights to art lovers and are a hub of crafts, arts, cafes, vineyards and wineries. Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes National Parks are also close by. Here you will also find great walking tracks and amazing scenery, which have visitors coming back for more. Visit Able Tasman, New Zealand and have the time of your life!

Scenic Highlights:

Abel Tasman National Park: There are three main ways to access the Abel Tasman National Park - to the south are the popular areas of Marahau and Kaiteriteri. Both of these can be reached by driving from Motueka. Abel Tasman is well known for its shimmering golden sand beaches, green blue water, world class kayaking and views that stretch in every direction. The Able Tasman area is abundant with wildlife, including seal colonies in and around the Tonga Island Marine Reserve as well as penguins, various bird species and all types of marine and fish life. There is direct water taxi access from quite a few areas and as far away as Nelson.

Sea kayaking in the Able Tasman National Park: Sea kayaking is an excellent way to enjoy the famous and picturesque Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson. Many visitors travel one way by sea kayak, then hike back again through lush native bush that affords spectacular sea views.

The natural magic of Golden Bay: The drive to Golden Bay is a fantastic experience in its own right - one of the highlights would have to be the panoramic drive over Takaka Hill, which is also sometimes referred to as the Marble Mountain. Along the way you'll find many viewing ponts which are ideal for taking pictures. The subterranean world of Harwoods Hole (176 metres - 577 feet deep) and the Ngarua Caves are both sites well worth checking out.

Activities:

- The Abel Tasman Track within the Able Tasman National Park (three - five days) is a popular all year-round walk that can be walked with or without a private guide
- Sea kayaking is another way that enables you to explore the many bays and inlets within the Able Tasman National Park
- Enjoy bird watching in the National Park
- Experience the many guided and unguided walks and walking tracks in the National Park
- Indulge in a scenic cruises or private charters in the Able Tasman
- Play a round at the 18 hole Motueka Golf Club
- Be awed by New Zealand’s rugged places. Enjoy guided walking (tramping), abseiling, climbing, caving & canyoning in the Able Tasman area
- Enjoy sea fishing and trout fishing
- Visit the lovely wineries in the region and enjoy the local wines of the Able Tasman
- Visit or contact the many talented artists of the Abel Tasman region. View work from sculptures, painters, mixed-media artists, carvers and metal workers.