This trip dossier contains all the information you require for booking this trip. Please print off and read carefully before booking.
Days: 3 days
("Soft Adventure" with an element of challenge)
Start/Finish: Pick up hotel/airport Nelson from 10:30am/Motueka 11:30am.
Wed only: Nelson 7:15am/Motueka 8:30am
Finishes Motueka (4:30pm) or Nelson (6:00pm).
October 2019: 2, 11, 26
Period 1st May 19 - 30th Sep 20
Departs: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday from December through to March, and on request from April to November (minimum numbers required; please contact us for availability or to book).
If flying out of Nelson the day your trip finishes, please select a flight departing after 6.30pm.
Please note: all April (other than 1st April) and May trips have an early (7.15am) departure from Nelson, or 8.30am from Motueka.
Child rates apply to 8 - 14 years inclusive. Under 8 years rates on request.
Minimum age for sea kayaking is 12 years.
Shoulder season rates apply: 1 - 31 October, 20 - 31 January and 1 - 30 April
3 Day Walk - Adult NZD $1,320.00, Child NZD $930.00
3 Day Kayak and Walk - Adult NZD $1,445.00, Child NZD $1,157.00
Single travellers sharing a room will be of same gender only.
Single room supplement:
Standard season is an additional 50% of the standard season prices.
Shoulder season is an additional 30% of the shoulder season prices.
Pick up Nelson (from 10:30am) or Motueka (11.30am).
Note: for Wednesdays northbound trip the pick up is Nelson (from 7:15am) or Motueka (8.30am).
If self-driving, please meet at the Motueka office (409 High Street, Motueka) by 8.15am for Wednesday trips or by 11.30am other days.
You will have time for last-minute luggage organisation at the Motueka office before heading to Abel Tasman. The launch departs Kaiteriteri for a leisurely cruise along the National Park coastline. You can enjoy hot drinks on covered or open deck areas and there are bathroom facilities on board. When you arrive at Totaranui, you can relax on the beach or walk north to Anapai Bay (or further if you are energetic). Walk south approximately two hours from Totaranui to Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, through rainforest with magnificent specimens of Nikau palm and rata. Cross the Awaroa estuary and be introduced to its fascinating history. Tonight you spend the night on the beachfront at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa.
Hikers - Walking time: approx. 7 hours/17km
This morning on your guided hike you depart Awaroa to walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti. Relax on the golden sand beach flanked by impressive granite headlands. Visit Tonga Quarry historic site. The lunch stop at midday is at Bark Bay, where you can relax, explore, swim or sunbathe on the golden sand beach. In the afternoon, enjoy a succession of magnificent views of headlands, estuaries and beaches, walking through native forest and crossing the swing bridge at Falls River. Continue on to Torrent Bay Lodge on the beachfront.
Kayak option - Walk to Onetahuti 1.5 hours (4 kms), Sea Kayak to Torrent Bay 4 hours (10 kms)
This morning your guided hike and kayak trip you will depart Awaroa for the scenic walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti. Here your guide will settle you into your kayaks with full training and safety brief (if you are travelling on your own, your Guide will find a suitable paddling partner for you). Weather permitting, there's the opportunity to visit the Seal Colony on Tonga Island where New Zealand fur seals breed. It's often possible to spot new-born pups here in December and January. Enjoy the sensation of paddling through the clear turquoise waters of the Park as you cruise past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, where your guide will explain the history of this granite area, pointing out some of the unusual natural features and relics from the historic quarry. Midday, stop for lunch at sheltered Bark Bay, where you can take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand. After lunch, you continue your paddle, beach hopping along the coast with picture-postcard views, including the Falls River and Frenchman's Bay. Paddle into Torrent Bay to be welcomed with refreshments and a hot shower in your ensuite room.
Hikers - Walking time: approx. 4 hours/13km
The well-graded track provides lovely views of the bays as you follow the coastline on the last day of your guided walk. Rediscover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Du'mont Durville in 1827. You may stop for lunch at any one of the bays, and then walk the last leg to Marahau, where a coach awaits to return you to Motueka or Nelson.
Kayak option - Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms)
Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before a hearty home-cooked breakfast to set you up for another day of scenic paddling through Abel Tasman National Park. Around 9.30 am you leave Torrent Bay by kayak and glide southwards along the coast, to discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D'urville in 1827. Paddle the idyllic waters of Te Pukatea Bay. In the sheltered Astrolabe Roadstead, paddle along the picturesque coast of Adele Island, now a predator-free sanctuary ringing with birdsong. If the wind is with you, your guide will help you hoist a specially designed sail so you can ride the sea breeze. You'll stop for lunch and a rest at any one of the bays before you continue your journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where your driver will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Motueka (4.30pm) or Nelson (5.30pm).
Five day Abel Tasman option includes Day 1, 3 & 5 of the above itinerary, staying one extra night at each lodge.
Average of 4-5 hrs physical activity per day.
At times carrying small backpack of 4-5kgs.
Tracks generally in good condition.
Altitude gains of up to 600m on harder days.
No hiking experience necessary. Reasonable standard of fitness required
Keep in mind that walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of the scheduled ferry services. Please discuss this option with your guide prior to each day's departure. This flexibility is perfect for couples or groups that want to visit the park, some preferring to walk, and others to take the boat between lodges.
One of the highlights of this holiday is that the bulk of your luggage carried by boat. You walk or kayak with only your lunch and personal requirements for the day.
Change of clothing including a warm sweater or polar fleece and thermals (even in summer)
NO DENIM PLEASE!
If you are kayaking, a dry-bag will be supplied for important items such as cameras
Spare clothes are placed in watertight hatches within the kayak.
PLEASE DO NOT bring any expensive jewellery, watches, etc
Overnight requirements are transferred by boat.
It is recommended the following items go in your Lodge Luggage Bag.
All clothing should be put in waterproof plastic bags (which will be provided) for extra protection should it rain.
You will be picked up at your accommodation in either Nelson or Motueka and driven by coach to the start of the hike or launch cruise (either Marahau or Kaiteriteri) and be returned to your accommodation at the end of your hike. It is possible to leave your own vehicle at the Motueka office. While on the Abel Tasman Track, there is an option to take a launch to your next stop. The pick ups are from the beach front and you will get wet feet.
From morning tea on Day 1 to lunch on your final day, all meals are included: full breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, packed lunch and three course dinners. Local beers and wines are available to purchase at the lodge (a bar tab is run for you, so there is no need to carry cash).
Accommodation is in the park's only beachfront lodges, providing twin room accommodation with ensuites (each lodge has 13 twin rooms).
Sitting on the edge of a golden beach, Torrent Bay Lodge has been the Wilson family's (your hosts) holiday home for over 30 years. Their home has been continually extended and remodelled to be shared with visitors. The latest upgrade provides private rooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom, for 26 travellers. This realises a dream of 20 years - to provide one of New Zealand's best outdoor experiences.
In 1884 William Hadfield built the original two-storeyed home, Meadowbank, on the best site in the bay in order to catch the stunning panoramic views and the all-year-round sun. One hundred and ten years later, his great-granddaughter, Lyn Wilson, and her family built a replica homestead on the same site. It is set amongst the original camellia and rhododendron trees, which were brought from England as a memory of a homeland left behind. The character of Meadowbank has been brought back to life through the extensive use of period windows, doors and timbers, yet all the conveniences of today have been included. Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa is filled with memories of the earlier homestead, Meadowbank. Thirteen comfortable twin rooms with ensuites have been named after William, Adele and their children, and features photographs of them as they grew up.
Pre- and post-track accommodation is required in Nelson. We can book this for you or you can book yourself.
You will not need any extra money at the lodges. Local beer and wine is available to purchase so an account can be kept for you to be paid at the end of your trip when you return to the office. There may be time to visit a local bar or cafe on the edge of the National Park at the end of your trip. You will need a small amount of money if you wish to buy anything there. Tea and coffee on board the Vista Cruise is free of charge for overnight guests. Soft drinks are available to purchase on board.
All Abel Tasman guides must have current First Aid qualifications and Sea Kayak guides hold a New Zealand recognised sea kayaking qualification. Each guide brings his or her unique personality and history to the job.
What's the weather like?
The Abel Tasman region enjoys one of New Zealand's highest number of sunshine hours - about 2350 hours per year. Summer temperature range approximately 13-25 degrees C. In winter, temperatures average 4-15 degrees C. The National Park is accessible year round. Winter days are usually very calm, sunny, crisp and clear - ideal for both walking and kayaking.
Should I do the Sea Kayaking or Walking Option?
If you are not sure about Sea Kayaking, consider a Guided Walk - the 5 Day Guided Kayak and Walk has optional sheltered water canoeing on Days 2 and 4, a great introduction to Sea Kayaking. As the kayaking and walking options usually travel concurrently, you can join the walking group if you don't feel comfortable with kayaking. Note that kayakers require more equipment. Therefore, it is usually not possible to change from the walking to the sea kayaking option once you have commenced your walk.
Minimum age for sea kayaking is 12 years.
How hard will it be?
Abel Tasman National Park Coast Track is well formed and well graded (refer to the details in the itinerary section). No experience is necessary for Sea Kayaking. Some strength is required but your guide provides full training. You can adjust the amount of walking or kayaking you do each day. Perhaps a few training walks or paddles would be helpful if you are out of practise.
Do I have to carry a pack?
You carry only a day pack with lunch, water and your personal requirements for the day.
What happens to my luggage?
Your overnight luggage is transported to the lodges by launch. Therefore it is required that you re-pack your luggage into the overnight bag supplied for you to keep (a sports bag 47cm x 35cm x 25cm). Any luggage not required on your trip (including valuables) can be left in secure storage at the office in Motueka. If you let us know where you are staying in the Nelson/Motueka area the night before you travel, your overnight bag, plastic liners and clothing list will be delivered to your accommodation. On the morning of your departure, you stop at the Motueka office where you can store luggage (there is time to repack your bags) and you can borrow a day pack if required.
What happens to my car?
Safe storage of cars and any excess luggage will be arranged on the morning of departure.
What meals are included?
From morning tea on Day 1 to lunch on your final day, all meals are included: full breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, packed lunch and three course dinners. Local beers and wines are available to purchase at each lodge (a bar tab can be run for you).
Can I walk independently?
We are happy to cater for guests who choose to walk alone, planning their own day, but who require the comfort of a lodge at day's end. We can provide you with a comprehensive set of track notes and maps to guide you along the way, show you points of interest and provide whatever support you need. Should your partner not wish to walk, we will arrange interesting activities for them to experience.
What if my partner doesn't want to walk/kayak?
Walking or kayaking each day is optional. All guests are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled launch cruises to shorten the day's activity. This flexibility allows couples or groups to experience the park together although interests and fitness levels may vary.
Please contact the Motueka office the day prior to your departure.
The operator reserves the right to alter, amend or cancel any tour should the weather or any other situation demand this. The operator finalise all tour arrangements upon the express condition that they will not be liable for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned, either by reason of weather, or any defect in vehicle, vessel or aircraft or though the acts or defaults of any company or persons engaged in conveying passengers or in carrying out the arrangements of the tour.
For bookings four or more months in advance of the departure a 25% deposit can be paid with the remainder due 65 days prior to your trip.
For bookings within four months of the departure, full payment is required.
Over 90 days: no cancellation fees
90 - 60 days: $100 per person cancellation fee
59 - 30 days: 70% refund of full ticket price
29 - 10 days: 50% refund of full ticket price
less than 10 days: no refund
No refund on any portion of a Guided package can be made after departure of tour.
We suggest clients take out a comprehensive travel insurance. World Nomads Travel Insurance provides online quotes.