Ultimate Guide to Abel Tasman National Park

How many days to walk the Abel Tasman National Park? 

Abel Tasman National Park has stunning golden beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush native forests. But if you’ve never been here for yourself, you’re probably wondering: How many days does it take to walk the Abel Tasman National Park?

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is 60 kilometres long and can be walked in 3 to 5 days. Many Kiwis and tourists walk the 3 kilometres from Marahau to Totaranui (the popular route) in 3 days. 

Having done this walk ourselves many times, we’ll guide you through a possible itinerary for each day of your walk through Abel Tasman National Park. 

So, whether you’re an experienced hiker or a casual walker, lace up your boots, pack your bags, and join us on a journey across Abel Tasman National Park! 

Day 1 of the Abel Tasman National Park Walk 

To start Day 1 of your adventure in Abel Tasman National Park, set off from Marahau, the southern entrance to the park. The early portion of the trail is gentle, winding through native bush, over wooden bridges, and past cascading waterfalls. 

Birdwatchers among us will want to keep an eye out for bellbirds and tui that often surround the trail. 

The first must-see destination is Appletree Bay, a serene beach with crystal-clear waters perfect for a refreshing dip. 

As you continue along the trail, you just might spot a colony of fur seals lounging on the rocks at Tinline Bay.

End your day at Anchorage Bay, where you’ll be greeted by a stunning sunset painting the sky with hues of orange and pink. The bay is home to a large campsite and hut, making it an ideal spot to rest for the night. 

Day 2 of the Abel Tasman National Park Walk 

As dawn breaks, we suggest leaving Anchorage Bay. If you do leave early, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the morning sun casting a golden glow over the tranquil bay. 

The path forward is well-trodden and signposted, leading you towards your first destination of the day: Tonga Quarry.

Tonga Quarry is a historic site, offering a glimpse into the past when the area was a bustling granite quarry. Now, it’s a peaceful spot where nature has reclaimed its hold. 

Here, take some time to explore, photograph, and appreciate the history of this unique place.

Continuing along the trail, follow the coastline, the path occasionally opens up to reveal expansive views of the sparkling Tasman Sea. The track leads you through lush forests, across crystal-clear streams, and over gentle hills, each turn revealing another stunning vista.

Depending on how fast you walk, midway through the day, you should arrive at Bark Bay. Bark Bay is an idyllic spot known for its beautiful beach and clear waters ideal for swimming. 

Here, is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch, the soft sand a perfect cushion as you savor your meal with a view. After lunch, why not take a refreshing dip in the waters—if you dare that is. 

For the afternoon leg of the journey, you’ll be offered a choice: continue on foot or take a water taxi. If you opt to walk as we did, the path from Bark Bay to Marahau is slightly challenging, with steep sections that test your endurance but rewards you with unparalleled views.

As the day draws to a close, you should reach Marahau, marking the end of your second day on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. 

Day 3 of the Abel Tasman National Park Walk 

Begin your final day in the enchanting Awaroa Inlet. Here, the sun’s first rays paint a serene scene of calm waters and untouched wilderness. After admiring the scenery for a bit, set off on the final stretch of your journey.

The trail on the third day is a mix of gentle slopes and flat terrains, making it accessible for hikers of all fitness levels. As you venture further into the park, the path leads through lush native bush, and you’ll have another chance to see some tui and bellbirds.

If you stick to the trail, it won’t be long till you arrive at Waiharakeke Bay. It’s a hidden gem where you can enjoy a leisurely swim for a refreshing break from the day’s hike.

Next, the trail will guide you to Goat Bay. This is yet another stunning beach to have a rest stop at. It’s a popular place to kayak too! 

By mid-afternoon though, you should reach Totaranui. Totaranui is a popular beach where many set up their tents or umbrellas to have a rest and enjoy the afternoon sun. Some rent kayaks and take to the water too. 

Whatever you decide to do during your stop at Totaranui, make sure you take time to have lunch and recharge before continuing your journey.  

The last leg of the day’s journey is a challenging yet rewarding climb to the Gibbs Hill Track. The steep ascent may test your endurance, but the panoramic views at the summit make every step worth it.