Abel Tasman National Park

Lately it doomed on me that I have done so many blog posts about places all over the world but none on my favourite place in the world, home! So this will be the first of many tips and tricks on all my favourite places in New Zealand. Enjoy.

Last weekend Ben and I decided to maximise on the fact we had a long weekend and flew down to Nelson, South Island to hike the Abel Tasman track. It was my first trip to Nelson and to Abel Tasman and my advice to anyone is GO. It is amazing, relaxing, untouched and really defines everything that New Zealand is in one place. We walked for four days, three nights and I would say this is the perfect amount of time when you are camping but you can also go for longer or do day trips if you want.


After one night in nelson we drove just over an hour in our rental car to Kaiteriteri. This is a beautiful beach town where you could also stay for a night or two if time allows. Note that most people begin the walk at Marahau but we decided to skip the first part of the walk from Marahau to Ancourage in order to walk further at the top northern end of the track. I would recommend this unless you just want to walk longer each day so you see the top end (it is the best part).

Day One: Ancourage to Bark Bay

We pre-booked a water taxi with abel tasman sea shuttles from Kaiteriteri to Ancourage and arrived at Ancourage at around 10am. From here we walked the high tide track for 4 hours and around 11.5km. We spent our first night in Bark Bay. Unfortantely we could not stay at the campsite as it had been ruined in a storm a few nights before but I would recommend staying there if it is open. Another awesome campsite that I wish we had stayed at was Torrent Bay.

Day Two: Bark Bay to Awaroa 

The second day we walked from Bark Bay to Awaroa which took around 4 hours 30 minutes and was 13.5km. We did get held up at Onetahuti Bay at the river crossing for about 2 hours because of the tide though so it took us around 6 hours. The number one thing I wish I knew is that the Awaroa lodge is before you get the campsite and if you decide to walk down to it (DO) you can sit and drink/eat/wait for the tide to be low and cut out about an hour of walking time to the campsite. Awaroa campsite is really beautiful and would recommend everyone to stay here. If you do walk the high tide track over to the campsite make sure you walk and visit the beach and the lodge later. It saves you one night of food packing, and you can have a much needed beer.

Day Three: Awaroa to Mutton Cove

Tide crossings are a big part of Awaroa and you have to wait until low tide to be able to cross. For us we were lucky as it was around 8am so crossed around 9am and it was perfect. Most people walk from Awaroa to Totaranui and end the trip here but DO NOT. Continue through the massive campsite that is Totaranui and find paradise at Mutton Cove. This was by far our favourite spot on the trek and we loved our afternoon and morning here. The beach is beautiful and the ones that you walk through to get there are as well. This end of the track is quiet and because of that I think it is the best. From here you can walk to the lighthouse at Separation point as well which only takes about 20 minutes each way.  This walk is not very long and takes about 3.5 hours leaving plenty of time to be at the beach.

Day Four: Mutton Cove to Totoranui 

On our last day we spent the morning hanging out in the beautiful mutton cove before walking back to Totoranui and getting our water taxi with a smaller company aqua taxi back to Kaiteriteri. I enjoyed this water taxi company much more than the big one as you go faster as well as see more.

P.S. Once you get to Kaiteriteri – have a burger, they are amazing!!

The doc website has great information on this hike and all safety and packing advice for it. This brochure was hugely helpful to me when planning our weekend away and would recommend having a read. You can also book any huts or campsites on the doc site here.



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