One of New Zealand’s most famous national parks is Abel Tasman National Park, and for good reason. It’s an incredibly beautiful place, with clear blue water, lush woods, and golden beaches.
So how do you get to Abel Tasman National Park?
The main ways to get to Abel Tasman National Park are by plane, boat, bus, and car. But the best way to get here depends on your budget, interests, and the time of year you visit.
Armed with the knowledge from our own misadventures, we’ve crafted an easy step-by-step guide to help ensure your journey to Abel Tasman National Park is nothing short of a success.
How to get to Abel Tasman National Park by plane
|Difficulty||Very Easy ●○○○○|
|Number of steps||7|
|Time to get to Abel Tasman||At least two hours|
|Things you need||Plane tickets|
Arranged transportation to Abel Tasman National Park
- Book a flight to Nelson, the city closest to Abel Tasman National Park. Air New Zealand flies to Nelson every hour.
You can find the most up-to-date timetables and prices on their webpages. So, we suggest comparing the prices and times of different flights to find the best deal.
- Get to the airport. On the day of your trip, get to the airport at least two hours before your flight.
- Make sure you have all the trip papers you need, like your passport or driver’s license. Check into your flight, go through security, and then find the right gate for your flight to Nelson.
- Take a plane to Nelson. Get on your flight to Nelson and enjoy the beautiful views of New Zealand as you fly.
From big towns like Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch, it takes about one to two hours to fly to Nelson.
- When you get to Nelson Airport, get your bags and exit the airport. Look for signs that tell you how to get to ground transportation.
- Choose how you will get around. From Nelson Airport, you can take the following ways to get to Abel Tasman National Park:
- Car Rental: If you’d rather go at your own pace, you could rent a car at the airport from one of the reputable companies.
- Public transportation: Buses make it easy to get around Nelson City. You can take a bus from Nelson Airport to Nelson City Centre. From there, you can switch to a bus going to Kaiteriteri, which is the town closest to Abel Tasman National Park.
- Head in the direction of Abel Tasman National Park. It takes about an hour, if you’re driving from Nelson to Kaiteriteri, which is the main entrance to Abel Tasman National Park.
How to get to Abel Tasman National Park by boat
|Number of steps||4|
|Time to get to Abel Tasman||At least an hour. Time varies depending on where you’re leaving from.|
|Things you need||A booked water-taxi trip|
- You can choose where you’ll leave from to get to Abel Tasman National Park. You have two choices when it comes to where to start:
- Kaiteriteri is one of the most popular ways to get to Abel Tasman National Park. Every day, water taxis leave Kaiteriteri Beach for the park.
- At the southern entrance to Abel Tasman National Park is the town of Marahau. Marahau also has services for boat taxis.
- Choose which boat taxi service you want to use. You can choose from the following:
- From Kaiteriteri and Marahau, you can take the Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle, Wilsons Abel Tasman, or Marahau Water Taxis. If you want to do something on your own, you could hire a tour boat from Nelson or Kaiteriteri.
Make sure to check the websites of the water taxi company of your choice for the most up-to-date timetables and prices.
- On the day of your trip, get to the place where you’re leaving from at least 30 minutes before the time you’re supposed to leave. Wear clothes that are comfy and bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
If you get seasick easily, you might want to take anti-nausea medicine before your trip.
- Enjoy the boat ride to Abel Tasman National Park!
How to get to Abel Tasman National Park by bus
|Number of steps|
|Time to get to Abel Tasman||Varies depending on where you’re coming from|
|Things you need||Bus tickets|
Transportation to Abel Tasman National Park
- Depending on what city you are coming from, find out which bus route is best for you. We suggest looking into bus routes from your city to Nelson, which is the town closest to Abel Tasman National Park.
- InterCity, and Naked Bus are all well-known bus companies in New Zealand. Compare bus routes, ticket costs, and amenities to find the best way to get where you need to go.
- Purchase your bus ticket. Once you’ve decided on which bus company to go with, book your ticket ahead of time.
- Make sure you know where the bus you want to take leaves from and where it stops.
- Get on the bus and head towards Nelson. Take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Make sure you have some books, songs, or movies on your phone to keep you busy.
- When the bus gets to Nelson, get off and get your things.
- You can rent a car or take a tour bus to get to Abel Tasman National Park.
If you’re renting a car, check the oil level, the air in the tires, and the brake fluid. Include an extra tire, jumper wires, a flashlight, and some simple tools in an emergency kit. Also, make sure that you have enough gas for the trip.
- Go to Abel Tasman National Park.
Follow the GPS to get to Abel Tasman National Park if you’re driving the rest of the way. If you’re taking a tour bus, make sure you have everything you need before getting on the tour bus, because they won’t be backtracking.
How to get to Abel Tasman National Park by car
|Number of steps||4|
|Time to get to Abel Tasman National Park||At least 5 hours but it varies depending on which city you are driving from|
|Things you need||Car|
GPS or a navigation app Driver’s License
- Map out your route. Plan your way to Abel Tasman National Park before you get on the road. To get the best directions, use a GPS like or any navigation app like Google Maps.
Here are the most popular routes from three of New Zealand’s popular cities:
Auckland to Abel Tasman National Park (At least 14 hours and 11 minutes)
- Get on SH 1 in Grafton.
- Follow SH 1 to Horahora Rd in Piarere.
- Follow Old Taupo Rd, State Hwy 32 and State Hwy 41 to Volcanic Loop Hwy/SH 1 in Turangi.
- Follow SH 1 to Centennial Hwy in Ngauranga, Wellington. Take the exit toward State Hwy 2/Hutt Valley/Picton Ferry from SH1.
- Continue on Centennial Hwy. Take Hutt Rd to Wellington-Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry).
- Take the Wellington-Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry).
- Follow Queen Charlotte Dr to State Hwy 6 in Havelock.
- Follow State Hwy 6 to Appleby Hwy/State Hwy 60 in Richmond.
- Continue on State Hwy 60. Drive to Sandy Bay Marahau Rd in Marahau.
Wellington to Abel Tasman National Park: (At least 6 hours and 57 minutes )
- Take Manners St to Jervois Quay in Wellington Central.
- Continue on Jervois Quay. Take Waterloo Quay and Aotea Quay to Wellington-Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry).
- Take the Wellington-Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry).
- Follow Queen Charlotte Dr, State Hwy 6 and State Hwy 60 to Sandy Bay-Marahau Rd in Kaiteriteri.
- Continue straight onto Sandy Bay-Marahau Rd.
Christchurch to Abel Tasman National Park: (At least 5 hours and 29 minutes )
- Take Montreal St, Bealey Ave, Sherborne St and Cranford St to Christchurch Northern Corridor in Mairehau.
- Follow SH 1 and State Hwy 7 to State Hwy 65 in Springs Junction.
- State Hwy 7 turns slightly right and becomes State Hwy 65 (signs for Murchison/Nelson).
- Continue onto State Hwy 6 (signs for Picton/Nelson).
- Continue on Motueka Valley Hwy. Take Motueka River West Bank Rd and Riwaka-Sandy Bay Rd to Sandy Bay-Marahau Rd in Marahau.
- If you don’t have your own car, you might want to think about renting one from a rental company in your city before you leave. Make sure to book ahead of time to get the best prices and the type of car you want.
- Get ready for the trip. Make sure you have a current licence and know the rules of the road in New Zealand.
Check that your car is in good shape before you leave on your trip. Check the oil level, the air in the tyres, and the brake fluid. Include an extra tire, jumper wires, a flashlight, and some simple tools in your emergency kit.
Also, make sure that you have enough gas for the trip.
- Start your road trip and head to Abel Tasman National Park. Follow the path you’ve planned to get to Abel Tasman National Park. Keep an eye out for signs along the way and enjoy the beautiful scenery.