Abel Tasman Kayaking

Activities > Adventures > Abel Tasman Kayaking

Abel Tasman Kayaking

The Abel Tasman is renowned for its protected coastline but it is impossible to guarantee the conditions. When sea and weather are calm, sea kayaking is easy, and very little skill or strength is required. However, due to the nature of the outdoors, weather can change quickly and it might be necessary at times to paddle against the wind.

Our qualified guides provide full training and, if their instructions are followed, kayaking is safe and fun. Our boat crew provides full back-up if kayaking becomes too difficult through the day. Double kayaks are used for stability, enjoyment and the advantage of having two people sharing the paddling effort.

Please remember that kayaking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of the scheduled launch services, or you can join the group walking that section of the track. Please discuss these options with your guide prior to each day's departure.

Our expert guides and hosts can help you make the most of your day. Have time on your own or share fascinating insights into our cultural and natural history, told through the personal stories.

Switch off and enjoy. We will take care of your safety and comfort.

Highlights include:

  • Share fun, friendly and authentic Kiwi hospitality.
  • Scenic cruise along the length of the spectacular Abel Tasman coastline.
  • All modern, top quality kayak gear: buoyancy aid, spray jacket and skirt, dry bags
  • Your expert guide will help design each day to be as active or relaxed as you wish. There will be plenty of time to relax on the beaches or enjoy a swim in azure waters.
  • View seals in their natural habitat.
  • Spectacular golden-sand beaches and tranquil lagoons fringed by lush native forest.
  • Walks along the coastal track, through diverse forest ecosystems.

DAY 1: Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranui

Approximate Times: 

Bus to Kaiteriteri - from Nelson 1 hour 30 mins, from Motueka 20 mins 
Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui - 1 Hour, 20 Mins. 
Walk, including options - 4 hours (10 kms) 
Includes Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner
•**Pick up Nelson (10.30 - 11.00 am) or Motueka (11.40 am) or if you are self driving meet at our office by 11.45 am.
•Meet your guide at our Motueka office for a tour briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation before departing to Kaiteriteri by coach.
•1.00 pm: Vista Cruise departs Kaiteriteri for a fast, safe, comfortable cruise along the National Park coastline. Hot & cold drinks, open and enclosed viewing decks and bathroom facilities on board.
•When you arrive at Totaranui, you can relax on the beach or take a walk through the picturesque rainforest of Te Pukatea Loop.
•Walk south approximately 2 hours (5.5 km + tidal crossing) from Totaranui to Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family's original home on the finest site in Awaroa Bay. 
DAY 2: Explore Awaroa
Optional walking, up to 4 hours (8 kms) or kayaking (tide dependant) 
Includes breakfast, morning and afternoon teas, lunch, dinner 
Explore the largest tidal estuary in Abel Tasman National Park on foot or by kayak (tides permitting).
•Your guide can plan your day to be as active or relaxing as you wish.
•Visit early European and pre-European historical sites.
•Unwind on the beach.
•Relax and enjoy the comforts of Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa.
DAY 3: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Approximate times: 
Walk Awaora to Onetahuti 1.5 hours (5 kms) 
Sea Kayak Onetahuti to Torrent Bay 4 hours (10 kms) 
Includes breakfast, morning and afternoon teas, lunch, dinner
•Depart Awaroa to walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti.
•Here, your guide will settle you into your kayaks with full training and safety brief. You do not leave the beach until your guide is satisfied you can safely negotiate the coast in your kayak.
•In good weather, visit the seal colony on Tonga Island where New Zealand fur seals breed. Spot new-born pups in December and Jaunary.
•Cruising past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, your guide will explain the history of this granite area, pointing out some of the features and quarry relics.
•Stop for lunch at Bark Bay. Take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand.
•Continue beach hopping along the coast to our beachfront lodge at Torrent Bay, taking in points of interest: Falls River, Frenchman's Bay.
DAY 4: Explore Torrent Bay
Optional walking up to 5 hours (10 kms) and canoeing (tide dependant) 
Includes breakfast, morning and afternoon teas, lunch, dinner
A day of Choices! Let our guides plan an adventurous or relaxing day to suit you. 
Options include: 
•A walk through breathtaking first generation forest, up to the waterfalls on Falls River.
•Canoe in the estuary and visit the peaceful grotto of Cleopatra's Pool (tides permitting).
•Walk to the protected golden beaches of Anchorage and Te Pukatea and visit historic Maori sites at Pitt Head.
DAY 5: Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri
Approximate times: 
Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms) 
Bus Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1.5 hours) 
Includes breakfast, morning and afternoon teas, lunch
•Paddling along the coast, discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D'urville in 1827.
•Cruise the Astrolabe Roadstead, visit the stunning bays of Te Pukatea and Appletree, or paddle along the coast of Adel Island.
•If the wind is with you, your guide will help you hoist a specially designed sail so you can ride the sea breeze.
•Stop for lunch at any one of the bays, then continue on to Kaiteriteri.
•Our coach meets you at Kaiteriteri to return to Motueka (4.30pm) or Nelson (5.30pm).**
**If start/finish times do not suit your schedule, please contact us to arrange alternative options. 
If you find that kayaking is not for you, there is the option of joining the walking group that is walking the kayaking sections of this itinerary. This flexibility is perfect for couples or groups that want to visit the park together, but don't all want to kayak, some preferring to walk or boat between lodges. 

Environmental Issues in the Abel Tasman National Park -

iTrek New Zealand has chosen a company with an exceptional environmental record for your kayaking trip. Their eco-lodges use solar power, and have bio-active, self-contained sewerage and waste-water systems. Clients willl be contributing in a small but significant way to conservation projects such as eradicating foreign weeds and the predators of endangered native birds. 

Photos courtesy Wilsons Abel Tasman

Contact us
Itrek Customer Service
Tel: +64 21 268 8879
email: info@itreknewzealand.com
NZ local time is 07:24 AM
Key information

Location: North of the South Island in Abel Tasman National Park

Open: Year round with summer months most popular but winter just as beautiful

Dates: Depart every Tuesday

Duration: 5 days

Group Size: Minimum of 4 required May to October.

Accommodation: Private twin/double room with ensuite bathroom

Luggage:  Luggage transferred by boat. 

Meals: Fine food provided.  Local wine and beer available for purchase.

Options: 2 and 3 day trip options.  Couples have the option for one to kayak while the other walks.

View the photo gallery for this trip