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Walk and Kayak: Explore Abel Tasman National Park like a Local

Perched on the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island, Abel Tasman National Park has all the splendour of Milford Sound… without the crowds. A stone’s throw away from the cellar doors of the Marlborough wine region, this pint-sized national park – the smallest in New Zealand – packs more punch than you’d expect. From the granite formations off the rocky coast, to the natural marble obelisks, tumbling native forests and hidden pristine beaches, Abel Tasman National Park is an unrivalled paradise of possibilities.

Are you waiting for the best way to explore this under-sold jewel? We don’t like to disappoint, so let’s keep it simple – like a local, of course!

Hiker crossing bridge on Abel Tasman Coastal Track – Photo: Tamzin Henderson

The Abel Tasman Coastal Track

Pack your favourite pair of trainers or walking shoes and some good socks… you’re going to need them. This 3-5 day walk connects visitors with New Zealand’s natural wonder, traversing craggy headlands, exploring ancient forests and cooling off in the blue waters of one of the many beaches. Not hard enough, long enough or do you just need to see more? Why not join the Coastal and Inland tracks together and turn your 3-5 jaunt into a 8-10 day adventure? Either way, you’ll see and experience unforgettable moments, so pack a camera and a spare battery for the trip.

Sights to Savour Along the Way: Apple Tree Bay and the surrounding beech forest; Torrent Bay suspension Bridge; the wild and birdlife of Awaroa Estuary; and the rocky headland of Whariwharangi Bay.

Kayakers at Shag Harbour, Abel Tasman – Photo: abeltasman.com

Self-Guided Sea Kayaking

Leave the locals behind, say goodbye to crowds and drop into a world without distractions. Abel Tasman National Park by water is nothing short of magical, as gems like Marahau, Kaiteriteri and Golden Bay deliver beautiful, secluded adventures to even the most discerning traveller. Do things your way and hire out a kayak, paddling the calm waters of Abel Tasman’s sheltered coastline – the inlets and deserted beaches are endless. Bask in the sunshine as native fur seals, dolphins and frolicking seabirds put on a show, letting natural New Zealand fill you with a quiet kind of awe. Not ready for watery independence? We can hook you up with a tour operator to suit your tastes and skillset, ensuring nerves don’t get in the way of a good time.

Sights to Savour Along the Way: The protected waters of Tonga Island; the lovely Onetahuti Beach; glide past the seals of Shag Harbour; mazes of sea caves; secret reefs; and sheltered tidal lagoons. What you see is ultimately up to you!

When was the last time you got away? See the world this year. Book a self-drive tour with New Zealand Holidays today!


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