About Us

Our Story

Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi is a family owned business on the doorstep of New Zealand's most popular national park.

Back in 1990 Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi pioneered fast water taxi trips in the Abel Tasman National Park and has continued to lead the way with a strong commitment to high safety standards, customer satisfaction combined with experienced drivers who have awesome local knowledge of the park. All this to give you the ultimate journey into the park!

Milestones

Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi was started by Kelvin and Jane Goodman. The operation started out by offering charters and they soon realised there was a gap in the market for customers wanting to walk one-way or spend a day in the park. At the same time they met Terry Knight who was building Awaroa Lodge and noted that there were limited transport services into Awaroa and that partnership was created growing both of their businesses.

Aqua Taxi started out by offering a 9am and a 1:30pm set sailing and we now offer in the peak of summer 6 departures and stop off in every major bay in the park. In 2000 Aqua Taxi opened the first all weather purpose built water taxi base which is still in operation. Our all-weather base is in-keeping with the area's aesthetics. The outdoor area is similar to a wharf that is surrounding the building and we have a counter built by a local Marahau sculptor. In March 2004 Aqua Taxi was sold to Ngai Tahu Tourism. In May 2012, the Alborn family of Marahau purchased the business.

Gaining a Department of Conservation (DOC) concession as well as a DOC Marine Mammal Watching Permit meant we could take our guests right into the park to visit the NZ Fur Seal Colony on Tonga Island in the Marine Reserve.

Tui_on_flax

Toitū te Marae a Tāne
Totū te marae a Tongaroa
Totū te Iwi
Through the sustainability
of the forest and ocean,
humanity will endure.

Our Boats

We have been using Osprey boats since 1996. Our first Osprey “Matakana” was the first built by the then small Nelson engineering firm. Thirteen years and seventeen boats later we have continually improved passenger safety, comfort, and performance.

The Abel Tasman is a unique environment to operate in with its five meter tide range and many tidal lagoons. Our boats get you closer, operating in a minimum depth of only 400mm and our super quiet four stroke outboards allow you to adsorb the sounds of the park. With a three star ultra low emissions rating it's also the cleanest marine motor available on the market. With each new boat purchase we will continue to lift the bar for our customers and the environment.

Osprey_boat

Environmental and Social Sustainability

Here at Abel Tasman AquaTaxi we care deeply about the well-being and sustainability of this very special place. This is our home. The preservation of our local flora and fauna is essential to our livelihood. We strive to take care of it and consider ourselves kaitiaki (guardians) of this area. We pass this on through our actions, staff training and by leading by example.

Please help us keep this special place, the Abel Tasman National Park beautiful for future generations. Respect our wonderful environment and makers responsible choices.

Here’s how you can help:

WASTE

Don’t litter and please pick it up if you find it. Buy a re-usable water bottle and refuse plastic bags where possible.

Recycle glass, paper, plastic and cans.

Dispose responsibly by using only designated waste disposal facilities. There is a strict, ‘carry out what you carry in’ policy in the national park.

WATER

Protect our waterways; use toilets and stick to the paths to prevent erosion. If you get caught short dig a hole well away from the path and water sources.

Prevent invasions of unwanted species. Check, clean and dry your gear.

Conserve water, use it sparingly and take shorter showers.

Always know your limits when fishing and collecting shellfish. The rules can be obtained from any sports shop or council office.

ENERGY

Reduce your personal carbon footprint. Turn off lights, appliances and devices when not in use. Use candles; the romantic option!

Save your wallet and the atmosphere; walk or cycle where possible.

Use public transport or hire a fuel efficient vehicle. Take your time and avoid air travel.

SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT

Be safe, use common sense and always tell someone of your travel intentions.

Be cool, never light fires against restrictions and always obey the signage.

Relax, enjoy yourself and never harass our native flora and fauna. Take photos by all means, but if an animal moves away from you it’s because you are too close. Back off and leave it be, it could be raising young or foraging for food.

COMMUNITY

Integrate and socialise with the locals; they often have the best advice.

Contribute, join a tour, volunteer scheme or short course that gives back to the community or environment, Buy local products and services to sustain local communities. Avoid multi-nationals and be rewarded with a real experience!

Here’s a brief outline of what we’re doing:

We are constantly striving to minimise fuel consumption. We continue to invest heavily in the most fuel-efficient boat motors and other fuel-saving technologies. We also work hard at selecting the most appropriate route or vehicle to minimise fuel consumption. We are actively monitoring fuel consumption to achieve further reductions. All of our businesses source goods and services locally whenever possible.

We’re constantly working on ways to further reduce our electricity consumption. We always endeavour to turn off any equipment, including lights, when not needed and we are actively monitoring our electricity use.

We do everything we can to minimise our water usage by turning off taps when we are not directly using water and by using water saving technologies. We also have a rainwater harvesting system at our main water taxi storage sheds.

We are always trying to reduce waste by re-using and recycling. We also offer our customers recycling facilities and encourage our customers to reuse containers and bottles whenever possible.

Everybody in our business receives environmental and sustainability training. We have a wealth of knowledge on our local history and ecology and love sharing it with visitors!

In partnership with Golden Future Environment, we promote a comprehensive environmental tour so visitors have the chance to learn about the ecology of the national park.

We support various charitable organisations in their efforts to protect and restore our local environment. For example, we donate 10c from each passenger’s fare to the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust. We have also adopted the national park’s beaches for the annual Big Beach Clean-up.

We have created a Responsible Tourism Guide to provide our customers with ideas on how they can help protect our environment during their stay.