Abel Tasman


Abel Tasman Walk End to End – 6 Days


Abel Tasman Great walk end to end. Stunning views over golden beaches, estuaries, coves & native forest. Unparalleled opportunities to swim.

img Self-guided img 6 Days img From £ 1470 img Easyto Moderate What's Included

Abel Tasman Walk End to End – 6 Days

What's Included
  • Full access to the Abel Tasman National Park and its beauty
  • 5 nights accommodation in beautiful lodges including 4-star Awaroa lodge
  • Walk the entire track end to end pack free
  • A la carte meals at Awaroa Lodge including 2-course dinners
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 walkers lunches and 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive Stroll track notes

Abel Tasman Walk & Kayaking – 6 Days


Abel Tasman Great walk from Marahau to Totaranui. Spectacular views over golden beaches, inlets & estuaries & native forest. Excellent opportunities to swim.

img Self-guided img 6 Days img From £ 1470 img Easyto Moderate What's Included

Abel Tasman Walk & Kayaking – 6 Days

What's Included
  • Full access to the Abel Tasman National Park and one-day kayaking adventure
  • 5 nights accommodation in beautiful lodges including 4-star Awaroa lodge
  • Walk from Marahau to Totaranui with a light day pack
  • A la carte meals at Awaroa Lodge including 2-course dinners
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 walkers lunches and 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive Stroll track notes

Abel Tasman Walk Highlights – 5 Days


Abel Tasman Great walk end to end. Stunning views over golden beaches, estuaries, coves & native forest. Unparalleled opportunities to swim.

img Self-guided img 5 Days img From £ 1245 img Easy to Moderate What's Included

Abel Tasman Walk Highlights – 5 Days

What's Included
  • Full access to the Abel Tasman National Park and its beauty
  • 4 nights accommodation in beautiful lodges including 4-star Awaroa lodge
  • Walk the entire track end to end pack free
  • A la carte meals at Awaroa Lodge including 2-course dinners
  • 4 breakfasts, 3 walkers lunches and 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive Stroll track notes


Abel Tasman national park is located at the very top on the northeast of the South Island. It’s a go-to destination for New Zealanders as there is more sunlight here than anywhere else in New Zealand.

The sand on the beaches ranges from sparkling white to deep gold.  But it’s the stunning golden beaches that this area is renown for and they can mostly only be reached on foot. However, there is an opportunity to take a water taxi out to a few of the beaches, Totaranui, Torrent Bay and Awaroa. We make good use of the water taxis in order that you can make your way back to a hot shower, a comfortable bed and chef-prepared meals. So that you can relax and chill in comfort.

The hikes make their way through temperate forest, over isolated beaches and up and over escarpments with excellent views over the crystal clear water of the becalmed bays and inlets. Spotting dolphins and seals is another highlight as you walk.

  • The best of the Abel Tasman Walks or the whole track end to end
  • 4 or 5 nights of accommodation with ensuites (extra nights are available)
  • Breakfast, walkers’ lunches, and mostly chef-prepared two-course dinner
  • Vehicle transfers and luggage transport from Nelson
  • National park admission
  • Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag, & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s transfer people on the ground


New Zealand is and was a British colony for a long time, but it is interesting why is it named after the Dutch province Zealand, or Zeeland as it is in the Netherlands. It’s the history of the Abel Tasman National Park that in part helps us to answer that. It was the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman that first saw this land (or at least this was the first European recording of sighting New Zealand) some 370 years ago and again in 1642. The Maori people having arrived in 1280. Whether Abel Tasman set foot in New Zealand is unlikely.

The name Abel Tasman pops up everywhere in New Zealand and Australia. There’s the Tasman Penisula, the home of the 3 Capes track, Tasman Strait and of course Tasmania just to name a few places.

Abel Tasman anchored his two ships in Golden Bay, which is close to Wanui Bay the end of the Abel Tasman walk. On 18th December 1642, Abel Tasman, the first European to visit New Zealand-Aotearoa. The local Maori from the Ngati Tumatakokiri tribe launched their canoes (waka), and during the ensuing skirmish, four of Tasman’s crew were killed. Fearful of the warlike disposition of the local Maori, Tasman did not end up setting foot on land and instead surveyed the coastline that now bears his name from the water.

The local indigenous tribe are called Ngati Tumatakokiri. They have lived here for several hundred years, surviving by fishing, hunting in the forests, and cultivating the local sweet patato which they call kumara. Archeological evidence does show that most of the time the Maoris visitation was seasonal, with iwi (tribes) living mostly along the coast, gathering food from the sea and cultivating kumara.

Captain James Cook visited the area some 128 years after Abel Tasman. But he like Tasman never landed. Cook sailed straight past the entrance to Tasman Bay, on the 29th of March 1770 and again in May 1773. Captain Cook never got close due to unfavourable weather conditions i.e. the wind blowing the wrong way.

The Europeans settled here in the 1850s, which like in many other places led to deforestation, clearing of whole hillsides and environmental degradation. Fortunately for us the efforts to reforest the land by DOCS and a group of local enthusiasts have been successful, but remnants of the degradation are still evident around Marahau.

It was in the mid- 1950’s, conservationists and other interested people recognized that this coastal area was in need of protection. In 1942, 37,000 acres of crown land was turned over to the Departments of Conservation and made a national park. It was named  Abel Tasman; it was befitting, as the year of inauguration was the 300th anniversary of his visit. The Able Tasman Park has grown to now cover over 55,000 acres.


Like in most parts of New Zealand the eradication of feral animals is of prime importance. The ferals are causing massive destruction, particularly to wildlife. The stoats, possums and rats, among others are very effective killers. They can kill up to 68000 native birds a day across the country. They have contributed to the extinction of many species of native animals. Over half of the native fauna is now extinct since the arrival of humans in the 1200’s.

Fortunately, Project Janszoon has been working 24/7 to restore the parks and its’ ecology to its former glory. They have managed to eradicate 30,000 dead ferals, planted over  50,000 trees, and 280 released birds so far. Its a great success and as you walk you will get to spot endangered species along the Abel Tasman track.

The most common birds on the tracks are Weka, Shags, Little Blue Penguins, Bellbirds, Oystercatchers, Shearwaters and Fantails. Bar-tailed Godwits can be seen at Marahau at low tide migrate all the way from Alaska arriving in September. Heron, Pie Stilts, Gannet and the plain old red billed seagulls are also common.

Weka look a little like a kiwi to the uninitiated, Gallirallus australis are also known as Maori hens. These birds are endemic to New Zealand (i.e. found only here). Once common in Abel Tasman, they suffered a precipitous decline due likely to nest predation by feral mammals. A small number of birds were re-introduced by Project Janszoon and they now seem to be doing well. They are smart, opportunistic scavengers and may be seen around campgrounds and picnic areas.

Bellbirds (Maori name: korimako) You will hear the melodic piping song of these small birds throughout Abel Tasman National Park. Light grey green in colour with a line of white at the base of their wings. These are a different species to the Australian bellbird (aka bell miner), but they are part of the same family – the Meliphagia or Honeyeaters. They feed on fruit, nectar and small insects, as well as lerp from the leaves of beech trees.

Orca have been spotted more often on the Abel Tasman Track than for a long long while, mainly because the fur seal population is now thriving. And we know Orca love to eat seal. Hunting had formerly decimated the fur seal population, but once a marine park was established the seals quickly started to grow in numbers.  New Zealand Fur Seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) Maori name: kekeno. These are the most common seals in New Zealand. Having been hunted to the brink of extinction, their population has grown substantially over recent decades. The last total population estimate was 200,000 (2001). It will be higher now. Fur seals may be found hauled out on rocky shores throughout mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, and the Subantarctic islands, as well as southern parts of Australia. If you have seen fur seals in Tasmania, they are the same species. In Australia, this species is known as the Long-Nosed Fur Seal. Seals are very good swimmers and weaned pups will sometimes travel great distances. They feed mainly on squid and small mid-water fish but also take larger species further off-shore. If encountered, seals should be left alone as they do bite. Do not disturb seals or other wildlife.

Common, Dusky and Bottlenose dolphins also frequent the idyllic bays chasing the fish that remain uncatchable, now the area is a marine park.

This forest was dominated by three species of southern beech (black, hard, and silver) and several species of podocarps (rimu, miro, matai, kahikatea, and Hall’s totara). Podocarps are a group of conifers that are dominant in the Southern Hemisphere. In contrast to most conifers which have light, airy seeds that are dispersed by the wind, podocarps have fleshy seeds that are dispersed by birds. Plaques on the trees along this nature loop identify the trees. It is recommended that you walk the loop in a clockwise direction.  The most common flora include the massive Beech trees, tree ferns, manuka and kanuka and Rata which turn a bright red close to Christmas.

Wilding Pines. These are a pest. Self-seeding Radiata pine trees originally from California, are escapees from local pine plantations and not wanted in these native forests. Much of the vegetation here on the southern side of Abel Tasman NP is second or third generation regrowth. The forests were heavily logged for wood like rimu, totara, and other podocarps. With protection, it is now slowly regenerating.

Hakeas Some of the trees with woody nuts may look familiar. These are willow-leaved hakeas from Australia. They were brought to NZ as garden plants for hedges and escaped. Hakeas thrive in the dry, acidic soils here along parts of the Abel Tasman track, and need the heat of a bush fire for their nuts to open.

Darley's in katoomba

Located in one of your options for accommodation, Lilianfels Resort and Spa, is Darley’s. Darley’s is known as the queen of the mountains for its award-winning cuisine and formal English gardens. With the choice of a five or seven-course menu, you will leave stuffed to the brim and your palate fully satisfied.

Miss Lilian Tea House in Katoomba

Authentic and casual Asian dining located in the heart of Katoomba. Miss Lilian Tea House combines the best produce in the region to create flavourful comfort foods from Asia. Steamed dumplings, beef Pho and more are available to fill your belly to satisfaction.

Silk’s Brasserie in Leura

Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner is Silk’s Brasserie in Leura. High ceilings and a checkerboard floor will have you feeling right at home without being too stuffy. Two and three-course meals are available with a wide variety of options within each course to customise it to fit your style. In addition, they have an incredible choice of wines that may wish to try.

Eucalypt in Leura

If you are looking for finer dining with modern Australian cuisine and an extensive choice of wines, then Eucalypt is the perfect restaurant for you. An intimate setting was created to provide you with a comfortable atmosphere to indulge in a four-course or seven-course meal. This is the place to get a real taste of what Australian style dining is all about.

Piedmont Inn in Blackheath

This is one of our favourites as your dinner is included one night at a local Italian restaurant, the Piedmont Inn, on the self guided trips. This restaurant is a comfy and family favourite specialising in pizza and pasta. Top it off with a delectable dessert and you will be carb ready for your next days walk on your self guided walking trip. In addition, this restaurant is BYO; as in, bring your own alcohol of choice. Located just down the way, it is the perfect evening stroll.

Thai Silk in Blackheath

If your self guided walking holiday begins on a Monday, then the normal dining option will be closed. Therefore, dinner this night will be at a local Thai restaurant, Thai Silk. Located just down the road, turn right on Govett’s Leap Road and then right again onto Wentworth Street. Thai Silk will be located 100 metres down on the left-hand side. You will find a $30 voucher per person to spend on food and beverages; in addition, you can bring your own booze. Thai Silk has a vast menu with a plethora of choices that will leave you full and satisfied.


Has possibly the best view of any restarinat in the Blue Mountains. Perched way above the Jamison Valley, enjoy superb food as you soak in the gorgeous views. Asian and contempory Australian cuisine are on offer and a vast wine list to enjoy. We eat here each day on the guided Blue Moutians Grand Traverse walk. Breakfast is particularly special as you can witness the dawn as the sun comes up over the sea from the east lighting up the unique red escarpemnts this place is famous for.


Abel Tasman Lodge

Spacious guest rooms spread across an acre or so of land with our looks over the garden make this a perfect luxurious getaway after a long day of walking.  Able Tasman Lodge is run my good friend Scott and his lovely wife Jocelyn. Scott supports the All Blacks and surprisingly he’s still has time out from watching reruns of All black games to run his excellent establishment. If Australia were as good as them I’m not sure I’d have time to run Auswalk.  Scott is a wealth of knowledge about the region and can assist with anything activity you might be thinking about doing.

The trailhead of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, is only 300m away from the Lodge. The beach and nature, including the outstanding birdlife, is right at your doorstep.

Awaroa Lodge

On the edge of the beautiful forest in the heart of the Abel Tasman National park sits Awaroa Lodge. There great views over the forest and lake from the rooms, and an intimate style of service create and an ambient atmosphere that will allow you to soak up all that this national park has to offer. The restaurant is excellent as is the 4 star service.

Serenity Lodge

Serenity, as it is called, is a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of 21st-century life. With only 3 rooms, all with garden views, you aren’t likely to feel crowded in. Home-cooked elaborate breakfasts are one of the real highlights. Try Lisa’s homemade bread it is simply scrumptious.

The house is located right on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park. The small village of Marahau is located in the Nelson/Tasman region on the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. The entrance to the park is only a stones throw away





Our walking holiday begins and ends in Nelson, although if you are driving you can make your way to Marahau. We shift your luggage by water taxi from Marahau thereafter.

As you start your self-guided walk out of your accommodation, you will only have your day pack. By the time you finish your trek for the day, your luggage will be waiting for you at your destination.

On the Abel Tasman walks we pick you up with a private transfer from Nelson airport or from your hotel


Climate & when to walk

Overall, the climate of the Abel Tasman is temperate. It is only slightly colder than Auckland and is touted as having more sunlight hours than any other place in New Zealand.

There is no time like the present to take a walking holiday. The Abel Tasman National park is an excellent choice for a short stay and walk.

Each season offers a different set of opportunities for a walker. Do you enjoy walking in the cooler air, or do you prefer the hot summer so you can swim in the waterways on in the sea. Do you hate the rain, or do you not mind a little bit of drizzle? Taking all of these into account will provide you with the best assessment of what time of year that might best suit you.

Take a look at our climate and weather information page to learn more about what the Abel Tasman National park will look like for your walking holiday.


The terrain of the Abel Tasman walk is varied, with some reasonable ascents and descents down on to beaches and back up over small hills. There is a little bit of beach walking but nothing to worry about I promise, there are no long beach walks.

Almost all the tracks are well maintained and even underfoot.


Travel in New Zealand


Do you need a visa for New Zealand?

If you are an Australian citizen, you do not need one, but your passport must be valid for at least 3 months.

There are many countries that New Zealand call visa waiver countries, but this still requires you to apply for a New Zealand Travel Authority (a NZeTA) on line. See below for those countries that are eligible:

Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia citizens only, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong — residents with HKSAR or British National–Overseas passports only, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea South, Kuwait, Latvia citizens only, Liechtenstein, Lithuania citizens only, Luxembourg, Macau only if you have a Macau Special Administrative Region passport, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal if you have the right to live permanently in Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan if you are a permanent resident, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (UK) if you are travelling on a UK or British passport that shows you have the right to reside permanently in the UK, United States of America (USA) including USA nationals, Uruguay and the Vatican City.

New Zealand has very strict quarantine laws, so don’t bring in any food or animal products into the country. It is also a good idea to clean your walking shoes/boots thoroughly to make sure you haven’t got any mud on them. (or hidden bugs or microbes in the mud). Failure to declare any restricted items will result in hefty fines so leave your local produce at home or eat it on the flight.


Flights to New Zealand are regular as tourism a big part of New Zealand’s economy is tourism, nearly 10% if you count all the indirect activity. It makes up a wapping 20% of New Zealand’s total exports. Here are some of the airlines that fly to New Zealand.

Air New Zealand (This is New Zealand’s national carrier)

Cathay Pacific


Thai Airways

Malaysia Airlines


Singapore Airlines

It is worthwhile flying into where you are going to most of your activity. Many countries have direct flights to Auckland and also Queenstown. Flying from Australia, there are many extra choices to where you can land. Christchurch is a good place to arrive at if you intend on driving up the east coast of the South Island to Blenheim, Queen Charlotte or the Abel Tasman. As the drive is magnificent. If you walking the Milford Track it makes more sense to land in Queenstown. Or if you want to visit the Bay of Islands, then Auckland is the most central place to land.


New Zealand punches well above its weight when it comes to food.

For those people that are on restricted diets, like vegetarian, Halal or just want to eat similar food to home (like Indian food for example), there is no shortage of options. New Zealand prides itself on its quality of fresh produce and the sheer variety of choice. New Zealand contemporary cuisine is influenced by European cuisine, but there are other influences beginning to make their mark on the New Zealand palette, such as Thai, Indian and Vietnamese.

New Zealand has come along way form fish and chips and steak on a barbeque. There’s said to be a distinct Pacific Rim cuisine in New Zealand, so you can expect to eat plenty of seafood like mussels, lobster, oysters and fresh fish. There’s also the award-winning cheeses and the famous lamb that New Zealand is famous for.

The wine-growing regions of New Zealand have become world renown over the last 30 years or so. The main places or regions to visit are namely: Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Auckland, Wairarapa, Waipara Valley and Central Otago.


New Zealand is famous for its hikes and outdoor activity. Milford Sound, Routeburn, Abel Tasman, Queen Charlotte Track, Bay of Islands and Queenstown are all principal to New Zealand’s outdoor adventure product. Other walks include the Heaphy Track, Tongariro Circuit, Kepler Track, Rakiura and the Te Aroroa (3,000kms walking from end to end of New Zealand), but all of these hikes require that you are willing to camp or stay in rudimentary huts.

Beyond the walking, there are many scenic routes to drive in New Zealand. You will need an international driver’s licence to drive in New Zealand, accompanied by your own country driver’s licence. New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road and vehicles seat the driver on the right, like the UK. New Zealand’s roads travel over a variety of terrain, so be ready for roads that are sometimes narrow, undulating and windy with plenty of severe cornering. Many of the roads are single lane in each direction without any barriers in between them. For more information, see NewZealand.com. The narrow roads require that you need to plan to take more time getting from place to place.

There is, of course also the wineries as mentioned above. There are literally hundreds of them to visit. Some of the areas have become world-famous like the Marlborough region.

Kayaking in the Abel Tasman Park is very popular as are all the other water activities that you can partake in; sailing, diving, surfing and fishing, to name a few. Sailing is very popular in the Bay of islands and it is possible to book a charter to explore the islands.


New Zealand is the first world so there is very little to worry about from a disease point of view.

However, if you are planning on going off-grid and hiking the Te Aroroa, for example, makes sure you have a comprehensive first aid kit.


The Abel Tasman  self-guided walks are along trails that are well-marked and well maintained. The trails themselves are well-kept and easy-to-follow. Occasionally, there are steeper sections both descending onto beaches and ascending back out once again up onto escarpments. They include a great combination of easy, moderate, and challenging walking terrains that will offer the perfect balance for every level of experience.


As with any journey, it is essential to be prepared for your self-guided walking holiday. While we will be transporting your luggage from accommodation to accommodation, you will still be carrying a light-weight day pack with you. Here is what we suggest that you carry with you each day:

  • Walking notes, map, and a map case
  • Picnic lunch packed in an insulated container (when supplied)
  • Quality waterproof jacket with a hood
  • Warm jumper or jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen (at least 15+)
  • 1 to 2 litres of water
  • First aid kit
  • Toilet paper
  • Some money
  • Mobile phone (please note that reception is not available in all walk areas)
  • Personal insect repellent, band-aids, and a small container of salt missed with rice grains
  • Personal necessities (example: required medication)

Now that we have the essentials packed, it is time to think of those additional items that may be worth packing along with you. These may include and are not limited to:

  • Waterproof over-trousers
  • Warm hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera (with extra battery or sim cards)
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook and pen
  • Matches
  • Small torch
  • Walking stick
  • Thermos (for hot drinks)
  • Additional snacks




If you’re looking for further information on any of our walking holidays please fill out the enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.
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