The Abel Tasman Coast Track, located in Abel Tasman National Park on South Island’s northern shores. The Coast Track is a Great Walk and extends for 54.4 km. All streams are bridged but there are tidal crossings which can only be crossed within a few hours either side of low tide. The track takes an average of three to five days to complete and can be walked from either end. There are huts and campsites where you can stay for a fee. Bookings are required. There is no charge for day walks. Visitors can walk into the park from the roadend carparks, catch water taxis to beaches along the track or kayak along the coast.
The nearest towns of Nelson, Motueka and Takaka have i-SITES, accommodation and shops catering for tramping and kayaking needs. Kaiteriteri has a petrol station, small grocery shop, accommodation and café. Marahau has accommodation, a shop and cafés. Takaka is the last place for petrol before Totaranui.
Activities Along Track
For people who haven’t kayaked before, a guided trip is recommended. If you are renting a kayak or going on a guided trip, discuss your kayak trip with your chosen kayak operator before booking huts or campsites.
Gibbs Hill Mountain Biking
Mountain biking Wainui - Gibbs Hill - Totaranui is open from 1 May to 1 October. There is a maximum group size of 8 riders. Mountain biking is not allowed on other tracks in the area.
New Zealand fur seals can be seen at various places along the coast. There is a large breeding colony at Tonga Island. Seals should not be approached closer than 20 metres.
Tonga Island Marine Reserve
The Tonga Island Marine Reserve boundary is marked on shore by large triangles and includes Mosquito Bay, Tonga Quarry and Onetahuti Bay beaches.
The three largest islands in the park, Tonga, Adele and Fisherman, are home to many native plants and animal species which are either low in number or are no longer found on the nearby mainland.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track is accessible by road at four points, each with a carpark:
Plan & Prepare
- Marahau, the southern gateway, is 67 km from Nelson on sealed road.
- Wainui is 21 km from Takaka. For the last 2 km, the road is unsealed.
- Totaranui is 32 km from Takaka. For the last 12 km, the road is unsealed.
- Awaroa estuary is 31 km from Takaka. The last 12 km of road is rough and unsealed. There are two fords, which flood after heavy rain. From the Awaroa carpark on the northern side of the estuary, it’s 25 minutes of tidal walk to Awaroa hut and campsite, which are on the southern side of the estuary.
It’s important to plan, prepare and equip yourself well. Have the right gear and skills required for the trip and always check the latest information about facilities you plan to use and local weather conditions. Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.