length

5 Days

difficulty

Moderate

trip cost

From $2495 p.p. twin share

Icons / stylised / time Created with Sketch.

length

5 Days

Icons / stylised / difficulty Created with Sketch.

difficulty

Moderate

Icons / stylised /cost Created with Sketch.

trip cost

From $2495 p.p. twin share

Guided Trip

our walk experts

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • On the trail
  • LOCAL EXPERTISE
  • Itinerary
  • Map
  • Inclusions
  • FAQ's
  • Positive impacts

Overview

Abel Tasman Coastal Trek

Located in one of New Zealand’s smallest National Parks, you will very quickly understand why the Abel Tasman Track has gained its reputation as one of the countries most popular as you walk through lush coastal vegetation, past golden beaches with azure waters and spectacular granite cliffs. The Abel Tasman National Park is a haven for nature and beach lovers; its beaches are stunning – in fact it is of popular consensus that they are among the best in the whole country. And the bonus? They are mostly all accessible only by foot or kayak – which means these pristine patches of paradise are secluded and come with no crowds! 

This part of the country also is fortunate to have a mild year round climate which makes this coastal walk a great option at any time of the year. On this walk, you will enjoy the company of like minded walkers in a small group, as well as gaining insights from our RAW Travel local guide.  Your expert local guide will show you the way and provide insider knowledge of the area and those hidden gems often missed by other visitors. All transfers, including your luggage, are included throughout your hike. This means you can really relax and experience the best parts of these wonderful point to point walks, whilst carrying only your daypack.

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Highlights

Get Ready For

  • Fully guided walk with RAW Travel’s qualified guide
  • Excellent boutique lodges and delicious locally produced meals
  • Remote golden sand beaches and pristine coastline
  • Relax on a scenic cruise along the length of the Abel Tasman coast
  • Cross an impressive 47 metre suspension bridge over Falls River
  • Playful kekeno (fur seals) and frolicking bottlenose dolphins
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On the trail

The Experience

Our New Zealand trip uses private boutique lodges in amazing locations of natural surroundings of forest and beach, often only accessible by foot or boat. In Abel Tasman NP we stay in some beautiful beachfront lodges where you will enjoy delicious 3-course dinners sourced from environmentally responsible local providers, before retiring to your room to fall asleep to the sound of the waves.

Laurie leader for Abel Tasman and Queen charlotte wallks

LOCAL EXPERTISE

YOUR LEADER

Laurie is a qualified International Mountain Leader and has been guiding, providing training, and working with young people in the outdoors for over 20 years. He has been fortunate enough to have worked as a guide in far-flung places such as the European Alps, Indian Himalaya and Mongolia. Originally from the UK, Laurie has found his true home in the Tasman region and has developed a deep passion for the ecology, history and culture of the area. He loves nothing more than sharing this passion with people who come on our adventures.

Itinerary

5 Day guided

Day 1
ARRIVE NELSON 

Arrive into Nelson airport and make your own way to your centrally located accommodation. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this evening when you will meet your fellow trampers and RAW Travel’s local guide for a briefing. Here you will be supplied with your lodge bag to pack your gear for the trek and your guide will assist you with what you need to take. Following this, your guide will provide you with suggestions for where to head for dinner.

Nelson (Whakatū) is a lively town located on the Tasman Bay and renowned for its art scene – from traditional Maori to contemporary. It is highly recommended you stay for a few nights before or after your walk to explore the area. You can visit one of the many galleries, or shop for local crafts and some presents to take home with you. Try some delicious local produce and if you like a tipple, you can visit the home of the hops or see why National Geographic dubbed it the Top Cider City in the world! From vineyards to breweries, orchards to art galleries and boutique shops the options are endless. 

Meals: n/a

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 2
DRIVE TO KAITERITERI | CRUISE TO TOTARANUI | WALK TO AWAROA (7km)

Early this morning after breakfast we will set off on the scenic coastal drive to Kaiteriteri, a beautiful little beach town and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. 

As we drive past picturesque vineyards to one side and golden sandy beaches with aqua blue waters to the other, you will get a taste of what you can expect on your hike through the Abel Tasman National Park in the coming days. 

In Kaiteriteri we will board our boat for a relaxing cruise along the length of the Abel Tasman coast to Totaranui. For the next hour and 40 minutes, sit back on the deck and watch the beaches, coves and islands of this spectacular stretch of coastline pass us by. We will cruise through the crystal clear waters of Tonga Island Marine Reserve, a wildlife haven where you might see little blue penguins, bottlenose dolphins and seals frolicking, before arriving at Totaranui and the start of your tramping adventure. 

It all begins with a hike through an area of native forest and coastal scrub, weaving in and out to some tranquil beaches – such as Goat Bay which will have you feeling like you have stepped onto the shores of a caribbean paradise. It’s a relatively short walking day today that includes a river crossing at the Awaroa Estuary. It’s important to be aware of the tides for this section, and your guide will be there to assist with this. 

This evening we will stay in the first of our beachfront lodges where you will enjoy a delicious 3 course dinner, before retiring to your room to fall asleep to the sound of the waves. 

Walking: Approximately 2.5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa

Day 3
WALK AWAROA TO TORRENT BAY (17km)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the beautiful garden setting that looks out across the bay, before we set off for the day.  Today’s walk is spectacularly scenic as we head deeper into the National Park through lush forest, interspersed with coastal views and beach walks alongside the Tonga Island Marine Reserve.  

Leaving Awaroa we ascend up and over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti Bay. Here, one of the longest expanses of beach in the Abel Tasman stretches before us in a crescent shape. Picture a long pristine beach separating crystal clear, brilliant blue waters from dense green mountainous forest backdrop – simply stunning! 

Part of the walk here is along a boardwalk and bridge designed for conservation purposes by the local Iwi (Maori tribe) who have a strong connection to the area, as well as to assist with crossing the estuary during all tides. In particular of significance is Tonga Island which sits in a prominent position offshore and is home to a colony of fur seals. We will also spend a short time with our guide exploring Tonga Quarry and learning about the history and the granite which used to be quarried there before being shipped to Nelson. 

The track then meanders through fern gullies and tall Manuka forests before a steep climb up and down to Bark bay As we descend down the track passes a cascading waterfall which we can view from a sturdy swing bridge. Bark Bay, also called Wairima, is an idyllic place for our picnic lunch, offering sunshine for much of the year. Relax in the shade or perhaps with your feet cooling in the water, while you listen out for the Kaka; a colourful forest-dwelling parrot that was near extinction before being released in 2019 as part of a conservation effort. If you are lucky you might even see one!

Following lunch we walk through more groves of manuka and fern, before crossing the impressive 40 metre long swing bridge at Falls River – a highlight for most hikers. The track continues with steady climbs up and over two valleys before a steep descent to the sleepy summer holiday village of Torrent Bay and our second beachfront lodge accommodation for the night. 

Walking: Approximately 6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Torrent Bay Lodge

Day 4
WALK TORRENT BAY TO MARAHAU (13-16km) TRANSFER TO NELSON

Another morning waking to the sound of the ocean and breakfast with a view! 

Our final walk today is the easiest, with the trail gently meandering towards Marahau. Along the way, we will have panoramic views across the Tasman Bay towards Nelson – and our final destination at the end of the day.  

As well as an abundance of coastal views, our day will also be enriched with historical tales of explorers and landmarks that we will pass by. The first section will be greatly determined by the tide – either around or across the inlet. The track then continues winding through small gullies, along streams and through lush beech forest. There are a few more beautiful beaches to visit, and at one of these we will stop once more for a picnic lunch. From this sheltered bay we can see out towards Adele Island  – a predator-free wildlife sanctuary home to penguins, seals and one of New Zealand’s rarest birds, the Tieke.  

The last section sees us walking through some open country before finishing with a few boardwalk crossings over the Marahau Estuary and into Marahau settlement  where our transport is waiting to take us back to Nelson. We arrive back at our accommodation late this afternoon with some time to freshen up before our final group dinner. 

** Note your distance walked today is dependent on the tides

Walking: Approximately 5-6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 5
DEPART NELSON

After breakfast, bid farewell to your guide and fellow trampers. You can depart any time today.  

Meals: Breakfast

IMPORTANT NOTE

All daily distances are approximate and this itinerary is subject to change. RAW Travel reserves the right to make necessary itinerary changes based on local conditions, group safety, extreme weather or unforeseen difficulties with local suppliers due to the effects of COVID-19.

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Map

Explore

A Slice of Paradise in the South Island

Nelson (Whakatū) is a lively town located on the Tasman Bay and renowned for its art scene – from traditional Maori to contemporary. It is highly recommended you stay for a few nights before or after your walk to explore the area. You can visit one of the many galleries, or shop for local crafts and some presents to take home with you.

Stay in the first of our beachfront lodges where you will enjoy a delicious 3 course dinner, before retiring to your room to fall asleep to the sound of the waves.

Following lunch we walk through more groves of manuka and fern, before crossing the impressive 40 metre long swing bridge at Falls River – a highlight for most hikers. The track continues with steady climbs up and over two valleys before a steep descent to the sleepy summer holiday village of Torrent Bay and our second beachfront lodge accommodation for the night.

Inclusions

What's Included?

Included
  • 2 nights Boutique lodge accommodation with private ensuite
  • 2 nights hotel in Nelson
  • Experienced RAW Travel walking guide
  • Scenic cruise along the length of the spectacular Abel Tasman coast.
  • 4 breakfasts (Full cooked and continental)
  • 3 excellent picnic lunches (local produce) while on trek
  • 3 Dinners;
    • 2 x 3-course lodge dinners sourced from environmentally responsible providers
    • 1 x Farewell dinner in Nelson
  • Hot drinks and fruit juice at your trek lodge accommodation
  • Snacks and fresh fruit on trek
  • Lodge luggage bag (yours to keep) – 40 litre, sports-bag style with waterproof liner
  • Luggage transfers and luggage storage
  • Boat backup along the trail
  • Transport between Nelson to Kaiteriteri and Marahau to Nelson
  • 15% NZ GST
Not Included
  • Flights to/from destination
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Nelson airport transfers
  • Alcoholic drinks and carbonated soft drinks at the lodges
  • Beverages other than water at the final dinner
  • Expenses and items of a personal nature
  • Single supplement: extra. Please enquire, limited single rooms available
  • One walk, One tree: For every walk, we plant an Indigenous tree on your behalf
  • 10% for the planet: we donate 10% of our profits to give back to the planet at no additional cost to you

FAQ's

Need to know?

What's the terrain like?

The Abel Tasman coastal track is an intermediate trail which is mostly well formed, meandering through dense native forest, along lush gullies and beside streams. At regular intervals the trail leads you to some idyllic secluded beaches, coves and inlets which will involve a bit of beach walking. 

Some sections may be muddy or rough, and while there are some boardwalks and suspension bridge crossings over most major waterways, there are some sections that require knowledge of the tides to complete the section. The trail is steep in areas with some climbs, however they don’t feel too steep or long.

How fit do I need to be?

We have graded the Abel Tasman Coastal Track as a moderate walk and so a good level of fitness is ideal, preferably with some multi-day trekking experience. There are some ascents and descents over uneven terrain, along with some clay soil paths which can be slippery underfoot after any rain. There are also some sand walking and tide crossings. Training and preparing on hills with your equipment (particularly with the footwear you’ll use on the hike!), and walking several hours over varied terrain (4-7 hours a day), will help prepare you. The better prepared you are, the more you will enjoy this beautiful walk.

What is the food like?

This region of New Zealand is renowned for its quality food and drink – the consistently sunny region combined with fertile land, produces delicious goods from cheese, conserves/honey, berries and olive oils through to alcoholic beverages (wine, beer and the world class cider). On this trip you will get to experience some gastronomical delights as you walk.

Breakfast is included daily (cooked or continental) and you will get a packed lunch to take with you on each day’s walk, which includes food such as Ploughman’s sandwich (roll, croissant or wrap), fresh fruit, quiche, muffin/banana bread, salad, cheese and crackers, trail mix, energy bars, free range hard boiled eggs and so on. On days where you have a free day at the lodge, you may be treated to a classic Kiwi barbecue prepared by the chef.

Your lodge dinners on the Abel Tasman are three-course meals sourced from environmentally responsible local providers and on the Queen Charlotte you will experience more high-quality food accompanied by a  glass of Marlborough wine.

At the lodges you also have the following available to help yourself; Fresh fruit, homemade biscuits, fruit juice, hot drinks including Nelson organic loose-leaf teas and fair trade coffee & hot chocolate.

Most dietary requirements can be catered for, please ensure you discuss your requirements with your consultant at the time of booking.

Best time of year to go?

The Tasman region of New Zealand is fortunate to be one of the country’s sunniest areas making it a perfect year round destination. Even in winter, though cooler in temperatures, you will often find you are walking under blue skies and sunshine.

If you are particularly keen to do some swimming along the Coastal Track, then the warmer months are best – though trying to avoid the summer school holidays will be more enjoyable along the trail.

It can be quite windy on the coast but rainfall is quite evenly distributed throughout the year and so repeated days of rain are pretty rare. Although Summer time is the most popular season to visit the national park, the locals firmly believe that the shoulder months of Spring and Autumn are the optimum periods in which to visit. During these months the crisp, cool mornings along with calm ocean waters and quiet beaches will equate to a wonderfully peaceful and serene experience.

How does this work for solo travellers?

RAW Travel supports and welcomes solo travellers. Our guided group departures are based on twin share. If you are a solo traveller, we will match you up with another traveller of the same gender. Due to the lodge sizes single rooms are very difficult to obtain, however we can request this for you, for a supplement cost. Please enquire with your consultant at the time of booking for further details.

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Positive impacts

Social and environmental

All our adventures are fully carbon offset so that you know your travel has minimal impacts. Hiking itself is a low impact activity but we offset the cost of all our office operations and food production as well, so you can be satisfied that you have chosen a form of travel that is both good for you and good for the planet. Each year we also plant trees on behalf of every customer who has travelled with us, aiming to build towards a carbon positive effect with our operations.

 

 

TRIP date selection

when would you like to travel?

Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed

dates
availability
price
single occupancy
dates
22/07/2021 - 30/07/2021
availability
price
$2,495
single occupancy
$1,000
dates
26/08/2021 - 30/08/2021
availability
price
$2,695
single occupancy
$1,000
dates
02/10/2021 - 06/10/2021
availability
price
$2,495
single occupancy
$1,000
dates
28/10/2021 - 01/11/2021
availability
price
$2,495
single occupancy
$1,000
dates
12/11/2021 - 16/11/2021
availability
price
$2,695
single occupancy
$1,000
dates
20/11/2021 - 24/11/2021
availability
price
$2,695
single occupancy
$1,000
dates
05/12/2021 - 09/12/2021
availability
price
$2,695
single occupancy
$1,000
dates
10/12/2021 - 14/12/2021
availability
price
$2,695
single occupancy
$1,000

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