Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest National Park but I can’t imagine a prettier one!
It’s about a 6 hour drive from Christchurch. You will see fabulous and diverse New Zealand scenery. Everything from rivers, mountains, rolling hills, forests, sheep, farms and of course, some very windy roads all packed into one day of driving.
Abel Tasman is located on the north end of the South Island and it is famous for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, which will take you up and down through native bush and awesome beaches and all along your walk, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views.
The coast track is well marked and easy to follow. It’s also very popular and you must book the campsites and huts in advance!
You can get information on fees and bookings along the coast track here.
You can also stay at accommodations that aren’t on the coast track but close to the hikes and kayaking. (This is what we did.)
There are a variety of places from backpacker friendly options to luxury homes etc.
We stayed at the Abel Tasman Ocean View Chalets for two nights. Three nights would have been even better!
We loved the cute chalet (we had a two bedroom) with outstanding views! Our host, Rodger, was wonderful and took care of everything for us from booking our kayaking adventure, making our morning coffee and eggs to order at breakfast, recommending places to eat and things to do.
This was the view from our chalet at sunset the first night.
We were pretty happy!
The next morning, we were picked up at 8:30am for our combination kayaking, lunch, hiking, beach and water taxi adventure. We got so lucky with the weather!…smooth water, blue skies and temps around 60 degrees.
We used Marahau Sea Kayaks company for our guided day in Abel Tasman and we chose the “Abel Tasman Platter” option. This worked out perfectly for the four of us.
After a safety demonstration and some kayaking tips, we loaded up the very heavy 2 man sea kayaks onto the trailer.
We kayaked about 3-4 miles (about 2-2 1/2 hours of nonstop kayaking) out to Adele Island, which is a wildlife sanctuary with cool looking limestone rocks and green water. We kayaked around the whole island and saw fur seals and tons of birds.
Next, we headed north to Observation Beach. We beached our kayaks and had lunch with our guide, Jazz.
After that, we set off on our own for an hour and a half walk to Anchorage. This was an easy walk with gorgeous views and a beautiful beach at the end.
Tip-bring water and wear sunscreen. Wear a hat, good walking shoes (which you will store in your kayak while you kayak barefoot) and wear pants or shorts that dry quickly because your butt will most likely get wet. You will be given a dry bag to store your important stuff and some of us wore a waterproof windbreaker provided by Marahau Sea Kayaks. We did not need any bug spray, which was great!
Here we are walking to dinner with the chalets in the background. And a picture of the amazing sunrise from the chalets!
Off to Picton Bay and the Bay of Many Coves Resort next…