Abel Tasman Coastal Track and Beaches

Abel Tasman Coastal Track and Beaches

New Zealand
New Zealand

When Is the Best Time

Abel Tasman is one of the most popular National Parks in New Zealand. Peak season from mid-December to March (Easter). Often several hundred day-trippers visit the park for a hike between Awaroa and Marahau. The crowds thin out after Awaroa. Best months for a visit with pleasant weather and fewer hikers are November, March, and April. Continue reading to get all the needed information for each season.

For the Coast Track of 3-5 days booking for the 4 huts and 19 campsites is essential for the entire year. For summer, advanced booking is recommended. Availability and booking

Split Apple Rock at Abel Tasman National Park
Split Apple Rock

Tide times must get as much consideration as the weather forecast for the coastal track and also for day hikes:

  • Crossing the stream at Onetahuti beach is only possible around low tide.
  • Awaroa inlet can be crossed only within 1 ½ hour before and 2 h after low tide. 
  • You can walk along the beach at Torrent Bay at low tide. At high tide, it’s a long way around along Cleopatra's pool which takes an additional hour.

Cleopatras Pool at Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Cleopatras Pool

Tide times

A pick up at Torrent Bay is not any longer offered. Limited drop off between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. exceptions for overnight guests and residents. The next opportunity is Anchorage and Bark Bay.

Water Taxi Shuttle early morning at the Abel Tasman National Park
Water Taxis at Kaiteriteri

Tip: Even for a day trip book your water taxi in advance during the peak season in summer.
 

Weather and Crowds

It’s one of the sunniest spots in NZ with over 2.200 hours of sunshine annually.

  • Spring (Sept.-Nov.): Nature awakes, and the temps are perfect for hiking with temps below 20°Cs on average. Nights are pretty chilly. It’s the shoulder season and less crowded.
  • Summer (Dec.-Feb.): It’s the best time of the year for hiking and swimming with less precipitation. From mid-December on the park gets utterly crowded with visitors from around the world, as well as from AUS and NZ in their school holidays. Day temps are above 20°C and nights are pleasant. January is the warmest month.
  • Autumn (March-May): Still pleasant temps and crowds thin out. Not a high amount of precipitation on average 8 days a month. Temps are perfect for hiking. March and April are still very sunny. Nights temps in May are often below 10°C.
  • Winter (June-Aug.): Day temps are around 14°C while there are one digit temps in the night. Camping is pretty cold. The coldest month is July with a night temp on average around 6°C. Most rainfall occurs in June. It’s the perfect time for photographers without crowds on the beaches and the turquoise crystal clear sea looks breathtaking at this time of the year. Viewer people visit the park. 
     
Where to Stay in Kaiteriteri - Abel Tasman National Park

There are plenty of accommodations in Motueka but not many in Kaiteriteri. To get one of the early morning water taxis we recommend staying within walking distance to the beach and the shuttle service. Torlesse Motels are just a 10 minutes walk where the boats depart. The staff is lovely, and the view from here is spectacular. Book a studio and prepare your picnic for hiking in the Abel Tasman National Park. 

Top Tips
  • Get up early and watch the breathtaking sunrise.

    Sunrise in the Abel Tasman National Park
     
  • Don't miss the famous Wharariki Beach which is most picturesque at sunset north of Abel Tasman. You may know it from the Windows 10 Wallpaper. 

    Wharariki Beach north of Abel Tasman National Park

 

 

To plan your trip or explorer the Islands, we recommend the guidebook from Fodor’s. It is packed with maps, carefully curated recommendations and everything else you need to simplify your trip-planning process and make the most of your time onsite.

Best Months to Visit

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Location and Tips

Kaiteriteri
New Zealand
New Zealand

The famous National Park was established in 1942. Abel Tasman is a hikers paradise with several stages. Hike the entire Abel Tasman Coastal Track or just one or two parts to get an idea of this beautiful subtropical paradise of white golden beaches, turquoise blue crystal-clear sea, and a lush coastal native bush with huge fern trees.

The coastal track is one of the nine great walks in NZ managed by DOC; Department of Conservation. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to hike the whole trail of 60 km. It can be done in either direction. Because of the dependence of transport, it’s better to hike from North to South. There is the possibility to hike just a part with one night on one of the campgrounds or just a day hike. You get to the different stages by water taxi and for Wainui Bay by shuttle service on a gravel road. One thing is for sure don't miss this exceptional National Park on the South Island!

Frenchman's Bay at Abel Tasman National Park
Frenchman's Bay 

Coastal Track in Stages from North to South
  1. Totaranui to Whariwharangi Bay 9 km / 5.6 miles - Get there by water taxi. Or
    Wainui Bay to Whariwharangi Bay almost 6 km / 3.7 miles - Shuttle service is necessary.
  2. Whariwharangi Bay to Awaroa 17 km / 10.6 miles - Note the tidal times.
  3. Awaroa to Bark Bay 13.5 km / 8.4 miles - Note the tidal times.
    Also, popular for day-trippers to visit the Onetahuti Bay beach and the Awaroa beach on a non-Doc track.
  4. Bark Bay to Anchorage at low tide 8.4 km / 5.2 miles and high tide with detour 11.5 km / 7 miles
    This is the most popular part for day-trippers along the 47 m long falls river suspension bridge and to the Cleopatra pool.
  5. Anchorage to Marahau 12.4 km / 7.7 miles

You need to be self-sufficient on this trail. Campgrounds and huts are provided with facilities and cooking shelters but without showers. Carry your own gas stove and cooking stuff. Using the hut facilities is prohibited for campers.

Tip: Bring insect repellent for sandflies!

Abel Tasman Coast Track Brochure  
Shuttle service for Wainui and water taxis
 

Comments

Rodrigo

Abel Tasman is a beautiful National Park, I spent three nights here which was too short for all the awesome beaches. One day the weather was fabulous the other day heavy rainfall. I booked the mentioned kayak trip and spotted a baby shark. This boat tour is one of my favorites so far. Definitely, watch the sunrise early morning. I got up at 6 am and highly recommend.

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