Upper South Island and the West Coast Places


Abel Tasman National Park


Abel Tasman Coast Track. One of the most popular multiday hikes in any New Zealand national park is the three- to five-day Abel Tasman Coast Track. One of the premier-rated Great Walks, and able to be traversed year-round, the track is popular because of its relatively easy terrain, short distances between huts and campsites, and the stunning landscapes. From beach to golden beach, over gentle forest-covered hills and across tidal inlets, this is gourmet hiking! Water taxis can be booked to drop off and pick up hikers from several points along the track, allowing flexible options for walks of anything from 1 hour to five days. There are four huts and 19 campsites along the Coast Track, and spaces in both must be booked year-round. Bookings can be made online, through DOC visitor centres anywhere, and i-SITES in the Nelson region. Abel Tasman Walkway, Abel Tasman National Park, 7183. 643/546–7393 Nelson i-Site. www.doc.govt.nz.

Great Walks Helpdesk. For help with bookings contact Great Walks Helpdesk. 03/546–8210. . www.doc.govt.nz.

Wilsons Abel Tasman. Wilsons Abel Tasman, one of the original operators of day excursions to this beautiful park, have expanded from their initial water taxi service to offering a whole gamut of scenic cruises and water taxis, as well as single- and multiday walking and kayaking combos that include accommodation in their stylish family lodges at Torrent Bay and Awaroa. The flagship of their extensive fleet is the purpose-built, 24-meter catamaran, which cruises every day from Kaiteriteri—several departures a day in summer including an evening barbecue cruise. 265 High St., Motueka, 7120. 03/528–2027; 0800/223–582 (NZ only). www.abeltasman.co.nz.

Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures. If you'd like a day in the park without breaking a sweat, call up Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures. Their large catamarans set sail daily from Kaiteriteri and into the heart of the park. Along the way you might call for a photo at Split Apple Rock, stop for a swim at a gorgeous beach such as Anchorage, or check out the seals on Adele Island. There's a delightful range of trips to chose from, the most popular, a full day's sail, costs NZ$179, including lunch. You can also arrange overnight trips, walking/sailing combos and exclusive charters. reservations are not always necessary. 03/527–8375; 0800/467–245 (NZ only). . www.sailingadventures.co.nz.

The Sea Kayak Company. The Sea Kayak Company leads a range of guided kayaking options through the pristine waters lapping against the national park, including to beaches and campsites that simply can't be reached by hikers. Popular options include the "Ab-Fab" one-day paddle and walk, a two-day "More than Beaches" tour, and three- and five-day tours. All multi-day tours are fully catered and all equipment is supplied. Reservations are recommended at least three weeks in advance. They'll also rent kayaks and gear for independent travel, and give you a heap of advice to help make your trip a happy and safe one. 506 High St., Motueka, 7005. 03/528–7251; 0508/252–925 (free NZ only). . www.seakayaknz.co.nz.. From $NZ199.