World → Australasia → New Zealand → Abel Tasman
One of the best hikes in the world
Abel Tasman Track
Our favourite coastal tramp in our favourite hiking region of the world — glorious New Zealand. 😎
Note: This page is a stub. We were last there in 2003. Things have changed. You can recommend improvements by leaving recommendations or links in the comments on this page. Our editors will consider them. Thanks for your help!
AT A GLANCE
- one of the Great Walks
- most popular multi-day hike in New Zealand
- 54.4 km easy coastal hike (or kayak)
- 3-5 days to complete
- huts and campsites available for a fee
- tide dependent
- booking in advance is required
- access by road or water taxi
Why We Like This Hike
- idyllic multi-hued sand beaches; swim calm crystalline seas; enjoy awesome sea vistas from atop rugged cliffs
- fascinating & photogenic tidal estuaries
- stable, warm summer weather
- open year round. Kiwi Autumn (February, March, April, May) would be our favourite months.
- easy to access and organize
- one of the best hiking options in New Zealand for families, children & groups
- in case of injury, illness, fatigue, etc., you can escape by water taxi
- you can fish. Check with DOC for permit details.
- One of the official Great Walks of New Zealand, Abel Tasman coastal is by far the busiest.
- huts can book-up months in advance so reserve as early as you can
- two-night limit at each hut and camp site
- huts are basic but comfortable
- no dogs
- outhouse-style toilets
- tent sites are generally excellent though sometimes crowded with kayakers. We prefer tenting — until it rains.
- portable stove & fuel needed. You must carry your own food.
- insect repellent might be needed for sand flies 😕
- if wanting a less crowded alternative, we’d recommend the Queen Charlotte Track
Cost & reservations
Price increase starting October 2018 for foreign hikers.
Click over to the DOC (Department of Conservation) Fees and bookings page for costs and reservation deadlines for huts/campsites.
You have more options if tenting. It’s a gorgeous place to tent. 🙂
Before deciding on your route, check the DOC Track Description.
Here’s what we did, staying in huts.
- Marahau to Anchorage (11.5km)
- Anchorage to Bark Bay (9.5km)
- Bark Bay to Awaroa Bay (11.5km)
- Awaroa to Whariwharangi (13km)
- Whariwharangi to Wainui Car Park
It’s easy to do the Abel Tasman Coast Track independently.
Leave a comment if you’ve used a guiding company.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track is accessible by road at four points, each with a carpark:
Transport to the trail
The Abel Tasman is well serviced by public transport including buses/coaches and boat transport.
- DOC Abel Tasman Coast Track official webpage
- Nelson Visitor Centre & DOC counter
- Motueka Visitor Centre
- Golden Bay Area Office, Takaka
Best Trekking Guidebooks
Be sure to get the most up-to-date editions. Many guidebooks, including LP, are available in electronic format.
- Lonely Planet Hiking & Tramping in New Zealand.
- Trailblazer New Zealand the Great Walks – Alexander Stewart, 2009
- Walking the Abel Tasman Coast Track – Philip Holden
Best Travel Guidebooks
- Lonely Planet New Zealand
- Insight Guide New Zealand, 2011
Other Recommended Books
- Classic Walks of New Zealand – Craig Potton, 2000
- The Story of Abel Tasman National Park – National Park Board, 1985
- Straying from the Flock – Alexander Elder, 2005
- The Whale Rider – Witi Ihimaera
- A Land Of Two Halves – Joe Bennet, 2005, travelogue
With a guidebook, you don’t really need a map. Certainly you’ll be able to pick up one in New Zealand if you collect them. Nobody gets lost on the Abel Tasman.
Best Web Pages
Best Trip Reports
- Adventure Junkies
- Abel Tasman Coast Track: A stroll in the park, 2012
- The Hiking Life – Abel Tasman Coast Track 2010
- Abel Tasman Coast Track, Kevin Gong, 2002
- Abel Tasman Coast Track, Stephanie Cotteret
Click PLAY or watch a DOC promo on YouTube.
Click PLAY or watch another DOC promo on YouTube.
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2 Replies to “Abel Tasman Track”
I hiked for a day around Abel Tasman, but sadly didn’t get the opportunity to go kayaking. A shame really as the weather was perfect!