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Abel Tasman National Park

The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park at 22,350ha. Established in 1942 it is famous for its golden beaches, turquoise waters, native bush walks and spectacular scenery.

There are two walking tracks; the beautiful coastal track which takes 3-5 days to walk the entire length and the more remote inland track through the hilly centre of the park which also takes 3-5 days.


Exploring the rocky shoreline

The parks' rocky coastline is a haven for miniature marine life and is always a fascinating place to explore. Between the tides, plants and animals each occupy distinct bands like the forest zones between sea level and the bush-line. Periwinkles, tubeworms, Neptune's necklace, starfish and pink algae are all adapted to a particular level of exposure to sun and wind. Underwater, you will discover seaweed, sea urchins or 'kina' and Cook's turban shells.

Tonga Island Marine Reserve


Tonga Island is legendary as a seal hot-spot. (Please remember that seals must not be approached closer than 20 metres and you can not land on the island).Tonga Island is part of the Marine Reserve, only the third marine reserve to be created alongside a national park. It covers an area of 1835 hectares, extending one nautical mile (1852 metres) offshore from the mean high water mark of Tonga Island, and the coast between Awaroa Head and the headland separating Bark Bay and Mosquito Bay. The marine reserve protects all marine life within its boundaries, benefiting not just fish and shellfish, but also animals like seals, penguins and other seabirds that live on the land but feed in the sea. (Information courtesy of Department of Conservation).

More about Tonga Island

Adele Island


Adele Island is a strikingly beautiful island and is predator free. It is home to many native New Zealand birds and the west side of the island has some great beaches which shift with the tide. With rapidly growing numbers of native birds, the bird chorus is like the birdsong early explorers heard. We donate 10 cents per person each time the parks foreshore is crossed. The funds are working towards the forest and beaches of Abel Tasman being once again filled with birdsong that awakens and delights visitors. Anchoring off Adele Island is a great place to hear the progress the birds are making.

More about Adele Island

Fisherman Island


Stunning remote island situated in the park, bustling with native wildlife, secluded and wondrous.

More about Fisherman Island


Current weather and forward forecasts can be viewed as below: Abel Tasman coastal forecast

Temperatures, °C, you could expect to encounter in the Abel Tasman Region




Summer (Dec-Feb)



Autumn (March-May)



Winter (June-August)



Spring (Sept-Nov)




There are a number of excellent tidal lagoons along the Abel Tasman coastline (e.g. Torrent Bay Lagoon, Frenchman's Bay Lagoon, Falls River, Bark Bay, Shag Harbour).

Generally these can be explored by sea kayak 2 hours either side of high tide. There is insufficient water to kayak in the lagoons outside these times.

For walking, take the high tide route around if it looks too deep. The 2 hour rule offers the best margin of safety and comfort.

To determine tide times for a given date, use the DoC website. You will need to select the tide times for Nelson, and subtract 20 minutes from all readings to gain an accurate time for the Abel Tasman National Park.

  • 2 hours either side of low tide is fine for Awaroa Estuary
  • 4 hours either side of low tide for Onetahuti

Walking Times

The Abel Tasman has an excellent coastal walking track, and a more remote inland track. Walking sections of the coastal track can be integrated with sea kayaking along the Abel Tasman coastline.

Department of Conservation advertises the following walking times:

From/To Walking Time Distance

Marahau to Anchorage Hut

3.5 hrs


Anchorage Hut to Torrent Bay



High tide route



Low tide route



Torrent Bay to Bark Bay

3 hrs


Bark Bay to Onetahuti

2.5 hrs


Onetahuti to Awaroa Hut

1.5 hrs


Awaroa Hut to Totaranui

2 - 2.5 hrs


Totaranui to Whariwharangi

3.5 hrs