From the long stretches of golden, sandy beaches to the lush forests full of native flora and fauna, Abel Tasman is paradise on Earth. 

If you delve deep into the South Island’s natural beauty you’ll find Abel Tasman; an unspoiled wilderness of pristine bays full of sparkling blue water and dense, green landscapes no camera will ever do justice. Sink your feet into an endless stretch of shore, grab a kayak and paddle out into the bay, and trek through luscious greenery on the adventure of a lifetime in New Zealand's secret paradise. From marvelling at unique rock formations said to be shaped by the gods to swapping campfire stories under the stars, our Abel Tasman tours and holidays offer you the chance to unwind, reconnect, and seek out the magic of Mother Nature. 

Our Abel Tasman Tours & Holidays

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Things to do in Abel Tasman 

A group of travellers walking the Coastal Track in Abel Tasman

Walk the breathtaking Coastal Track

Travellers come from far and wide to walk this track and it only takes a couple of steps to see why. From walking through glades full of native manuka to taking a quick dip in Cleopatra’s Pool, a beautiful, natural pool with its own moss-covered waterslide, the Coastal Track is like something out of this world. While it is 60km in length, there’s plenty of places to stop and connect with nature so it’s definitely worth challenging yourself for, especially with epic views around every corner. 

Bark Bay trail in Abel Tasman on New Zealand's South Island

Take a dip in the waters of Bark Bay

Another day, another bay to explore. Join your group on an exploration of Bark Bay, a paradise-like strip of lush tree-lined land with a beach on one side and a tidal estuary on the other. Better described as being a water-filled playground, splash in the natural lagoon or wade out into the cool waters of the bay, taking in the peace that only comes with being this close to nature in its rarest form. Listen out for the calls of native wildlife as you relax on the sand, soaking up the glorious New Zealand sun. 

Split Apple rock formation in Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Marvel at Split Apple Rock

Up there with some of the world’s biggest natural wonders is Split Apple Rock, an interesting and unique formation in the middle of the bay. While some say it was created via ice wedging, a natural occurrence where water filters in through cracks in the rock and freezes to eventually expand and split, Maori legend says the split in the rock occurred when the God of the Land fought with the God of the Ocean for possession over it. Regardless of how it ended up this way, Split Apple Rock is breathtaking to behold and hard to forget. 

Aerial view of Awaroa Bay in Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Relax at Awaroa Bay

Considered one of the best beaches in the Abel Tasman region, Awaroa Bay is the perfect place to spend a peaceful and playful afternoon. Loved because of its white sandy beaches and soothing warm water, Awaroa Bay made international headlines in 2016 when a crowdfunding campaign was organised to purchase a stretch of the beach that was put up for sale by its private owner. Thankfully enough money was donated to ensure travellers still get to visit this mesmerising region, frolic in its waters, and relax on its sandy shore. 

Falls River in Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Explore the powerful Falls River

A hiking adventure in Abel Tasman isn’t complete without a trip to Falls River and believe us when we say it’ll take the cake as one of the most impressive bodies of water you’ve ever seen. With water that falls a staggering 1000 metres in 10km, it’s no wonder this river attracts travellers from both far and wide. Continue to explore this forested wonderland by walking along the 47-metre suspension bridge across the river and boulder-hopping your way to more waterfalls up the valley. Feeling hot? A quick dip in the Falls River cascades will cool you right down. 

A group of travellers setting up camp in Anchorage, Abel Tasman

Set up camp in Anchorage

There’s nothing quite like pitching a tent, setting up camp, and settling down for a well-deserved rest in the great outdoors, and Anchorage is the perfect place to do it. Sheltered by the headlands and perched right on the beach, this iconic destination offers activities galore during the day from hiking and kayaking to sunbaking and sandcastle-making. Being the first large camping area in the Abel Tasman region, Anchorage is quite popular among travellers looking for an overnight experience like no other so get comfortable and let the sounds of nature send you to sleep. 

Abel Tasman Tour Reviews 

Abel Tasman FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). 

However, we continue to strongly recommend  that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

Getting to the Abel Tasman region on the North Island is easily done as there are a variety of options available. You can fly into Nelson Airport (New Zealand's sixth busiest airport) and then drive the short 1 hour to reach Abel Tasman National Park. You can also catch public transport to Abel Tasman in the form of a bus or drive as it's easily accessible by road. 

The weather in Abel Tasman is great all year round making it the perfect destination to travel to regardless of the season. Enjoying the highest annual sunshine out of any other region in New Zealand, Abel Tasman has a moderate, maritime climate with light showers in spring, warm days in summer, mild weather in autumn, and crisp mornings in winter. 

Click to read more about the weather in Abel Tasman

The weather in the Abel Tasman region is nice and fairly even throughout the year so there's really no bad time to visit this stunning, natural wonderland. Spring and summer enjoy perfect weather for outdoor activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and hiking while winter provides fewer crowds on the popular beaches and trails. Autumn is also a great time to travel to Abel Tasman as the lush, green forests turn orange and brown, making for a spectacular view. 

What to pack for Abel Tasman largely depends on what time of the year you're travelling in and whether you'll be camping overnight. The weather in Abel Tasman is usually sunny and warm so packing t-shirts, shorts, and long pants are a must. You'll most likely be doing a lot of hiking during your time in Abel Tasman so make sure you pack comfortable walking/hiking shoes and a reusable drink bottle. You should also pack a bathing suit if you intend on swimming, as well as sunscreen and a hat to protect you from the sun's UV rays. 

There are a few ways to get from Nelson to Abel Tasman including driving and catching public transport. If you fly into Nelson you can rent a car from Nelson Airport and make your way to Abel Tasman National Park with the journey being just over an hour. You can also catch public transport in the form of a bus and a water taxi. This is a relatively cheap option and a water taxi is a good way to see some of the park from the water before you even arrive.

Click to read more about how to get from Nelson to Abel Tasman

There are heaps of different tracks to walk in Abel Tasman from trails that are perfect for beginners to more challenging ones. Regardless of the difficulty of the track, each one promises a spectacular view. These are some of the best tracks to walk in the Abel Tasman: 

  • Falls River Track
  • Cleopatra's Pool 
  • Coastal Track 
  • Inland Track
  • Marahau to Appletree Bay

You'll likely experience interrupted cellphone coverage throughout your time in Abel Tasman National Park as service is limited. However, you can find coverage on headlands, at high vantage points, or at various locations throughout the park such as Anchorage campground, Torrent Bay Lodge, Marahua Park Entrance, and Totaranui. How much coverage you get will depend on the service provider you're with. 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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