What can tourists see and do at Abel Tasman National Park

What can tourists see and do at Abel Tasman National Park?

Ahoy there, fellow adventurers! If you’re looking for a slice of heaven on earth, Abel Tasman National Park should be at the top of your list. Trust us, we’ve spent enough time exploring this breathtaking paradise to know! 

In this guide, we’ll give you the inside scoop on all the best things to see and do in Abel Tasman National Park. First, though, here are the details of the park:

Website: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/abel-tasman-national-park/ 

Address: South Island 7183, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 3 546 9339

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Now that’s settled, let’s set sail on our adventure!

1. Hike your way to paradise on the Abel Tasman Coast Track

Day passes for the Abel Tasman Coast Track: 

  • NZ $20 for adults
  • NZ $10 for children

If there’s one activity you absolutely can’t miss when you visit Abel Tasman National Park, it’s hiking the famous Abel Tasman Coast Track. We’ve been there, done that, and it’s truly one of the must-dos in this slice of heaven. 

The 60-kilometer track winds through lush native forests, over golden sand beaches, and along stunning coastal cliffs. 

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a fun day trip, we’re sure you’ll enjoy this track.


  • To fully appreciate the beauty of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, we recommend packing a picnic lunch and stopping at one of the many secluded beaches along the way. 
  • If you’re short on time or not up for the full 60-kilometer hike, consider taking a water taxi to one of the track’s many access points and hiking just a portion of the trail. This way, you can still enjoy some of the stunning views that the track has to offer without committing to a full-day adventure. 

2. Kayak the crystal-clear bays

Website: https://www.abeltasmankayaks.co.nz/

Address: 25 Abel Tasman Drive, Kaiteriteri 7011, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 3 547 9444

Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM


  • Half-day kayak tour: NZ $150 per person
  • Full-day kayak tour: NZ $250 per person
  • Kayak rental: NZ $50 per day

Kayaking around the crystal-clear bays of Abel Tasman National Park is an absolute must-do experience. There. You can explore the majestic coastline and hidden coves that are only accessible by water.

Having explored these waters multiple times ourselves, we can assure you that there’s nothing quite like the feeling of gliding through the serene waters.

Just imagine being surrounded by stunning views of beaches, lush forests, and clear blue skies!


  • Consider taking a guided kayaking tour if you’re new to the area. The guides can offer insights into the best spots to visit and share interesting information about the local flora and fauna.
  • Pack a waterproof camera or phone to capture the stunning views and share your adventure with your friends and family back home.

3. Experience the thrill of canyoning

Website: https://www.abeltasmancanyons.co.nz/ 

Address: 76 Greenwood Street, Motueka 7120, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 3 528 9800

Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM


  • Torrent River Canyoning: NZ $295 per person
  • Maruia Falls Canyoning: NZ $349 per person

Looking for an adventure in Abel Tasman National Park that will push you out of your comfort zone? Then we suggest you go canyoning!

With Abel Tasman Canyons, you’ll abseil down stunning granite canyons, zip through the untouched rainforest, and slide into the crystal-clear water and natural rock pools. 

It’s a thrilling experience that’s sure to leave you with a huge smile on your face and a newfound appreciation for the stunning natural beauty that surrounds the park. 


  • Don’t forget to wear comfortable and secure shoes with a good grip. Water shoes or sneakers with a good grip are recommended.
  • Remember to always follow the safety instructions of the guides and be prepared for a thrilling adventure in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park!

4. Discover the mystical legend of Split Apple Rock

If you’re seeking a natural wonder that will take your breath away, look to the horizon and spot Split Apple Rock. It’s a stunning landmark located between Kaiteriteri and Marahau, which are the gateway towns to Abel Tasman National Park.

Legend has it that the rock was split in half during a battle between the Gods of the Ocean and the Land. Scientists, on the other hand, attribute the split to a natural occurrence known as ice wedging. 

Whatever the cause may be, the result is a breathtaking spectacle that is not to be missed!


  • Take a kayak or boat tour to get a closer view of the rock formation and enjoy the stunning coastal scenery.
  • Visit during low tide to explore the rock’s nooks and crannies, and perhaps even walk on the beachside of the split.

5. Encounter the wild side of Tonga Island

A visit to Tonga Island Marine Reserve is a must-do for any nature lover visiting Abel Tasman National Park.

Whether you’re kayaking, snorkeling, or taking an eco-tour, you’ll be amazed by the incredible variety of marine life in the reserve. 

And as you explore the crystal-clear waters here, you’ll be welcomed by the colorful sea creatures swimming around you.


  • Remember that all animals and plants are protected in the marine reserve, so it’s essential to respect their habitat.
  • The best time to visit Tonga Island Marine Reserve is during the summer months (December to February) when the weather is warm and the water is calm.

6. Sail away to adventure through a cruise or sailboat

Website: www.splitapplerockcruise.com 

Address: Kaiteriteri Beach Kaiteriteri, Tasman

Contact details: 0272 610 031

Operating hours: Departs daily at 10:45 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:30 PM


  • Adults: NZ $50
  • Children 5-15: NZ $20

Who wouldn’t want to relax while vacaying at Abel Tasman National Park? If that’s on top of your list, why not hop aboard a comfortable sailing catamaran or scenic cruise to explore the beauty of the park?

Our team highly recommends this activity as a must-do. It provides a unique opportunity to enjoy unparalleled views of the stunning coastline and spot playful dolphins, penguins, and other marine life. 

Trust us – there’s nothing quite like feeling the gentle rock of the boat as it glides swiftly through the water while listening to the sound of the waves lapping below you.


  • For a more immersive experience, try one of the half-day cruise/walk or cruise/kayak options. This allows you to mix it up a little and see the beauty of the park from a different perspective. 

7. Take a scenic flight over the National Park

Website: https://helicoptersnelson.co.nz/

Address: 100 Tahuna Rd, Nelson 7010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 3 548 7777

Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM


  • Scenic flights:
    • 15-minute flight: NZ $195
    • 30-minute flight: NZ $395
    • 60-minute flight: NZ $795

Take your Abel Tasman experience to new heights with a scenic flight! This activity is a can’t-miss adventure, as it offers a unique and breathtaking perspective of the national park that you won’t want to miss.

It’s the perfect way to witness the sweeping coastline, golden beaches, and lush native bush while you soar through the skies. 


  • For an even more unforgettable experience, consider adding an optional lunch at Awaroa Lodge to your flight. 
  • After landing, take a stroll down the beach or swim in the clear waters before taking off again.

8. Spend a night in the park

Website: https://www.abeltasman.co.nz/abel-tasman-national-park/our-lodges/ 

Address: 25 Abel Tasman Drive, Kaiteriteri 7011, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 3 547 9444

Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM


  • Beachfront Lodges: from NZ $395 per night
  • Self-Catering Cottages: from NZ $295 per night
  • Camping: from NZ $30 per night

Staying overnight in Abel Tasman National Park is an experience like no other. It allows you to escape the chaos of city life and immerse yourself in the tranquility and beauty of nature. 

We highly recommend taking the opportunity to camp under the stars for an unforgettable experience. Although you can also choose the modern comforts of a cozy lodge.

From the peaceful sound of waves lulling you to sleep to the cheerful chirping of birds waking you up at dawn, there’s something magical about spending the night in the park. 


  • Book your campsite or accommodation in advance, especially during peak season.
  • Pack light but don’t forget to bring essentials such as a good-quality sleeping bag, insect repellent, and a headlamp or flashlight.

9. Uncover the charms of the park’s gateways

Escape the mundane and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Abel Tasman National Park by exploring its three main gateways: Kaiteriteri, Marahau, and Motueka. Each one offers a unique experience that’s worth exploring!

Start your adventure in Motueka, a charming town that’s home to artisan markets and local eateries.

Marahau, on the other hand, offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as horseback riding or hiking.

And if you’re looking to soak up the sun, Kaiteriteri’s golden beaches and crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming


  • For a thrilling experience, try skydiving in Motueka and enjoy panoramic views of the park from above.
  • Rent a bike in any of the gateway towns and explore the Tasman Great Taste Trail, a scenic cycling route that winds through vineyards, orchards, and seaside villages.

10. Paddle through History in a Māori Canoe

Website: http://www.wakaabeltasman.nz/ 

Address: Kaiteriteri -Sandy Bay Road, Kaiteriteri, Nelson 7197, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 3 527 8160

Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


  • Split Apple Rock Paddle: Adult NZ $95 per person, Child NZ $65 per person 
  • Haerenga ā-rōpū (Group Journey): Group (upto 11 Passengers per Group): NZ $850

Experience the thrill of paddling in a traditional Māori waka along the picturesque coastline with Waka Abel Tasman. 

This unique activity is not only a fun way to explore the natural beauty of the area but also a fantastic opportunity to learn about Māori culture and history.

We must say that paddling a waka is quite a challenging but surely rewarding experience, and it’s suitable for all levels of fitness,


  • Listen closely to your guides and follow their instructions. Waka paddling requires teamwork and coordination, and your guides will be there to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
  • Take the opportunity to learn about Māori culture and history from your guides. Waka paddling is a unique cultural experience, and your guides from Waka Abel Tasman are knowledgeable and passionate about sharing their heritage with visitors.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet. 

And that’s a wrap on our guide to Abel Tasman National Park! We hope we’ve inspired you to pack your bags and head off on an adventure to this stunning corner of the world. 

So what are you waiting for? Let’s set sail and make some unforgettable memories in Abel Tasman National Park!