At the very tip of New Zealand’s South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is known for its picturesque coastal beauty. The spaces between trees and tide line are filled with calm, golden beaches; marble headlands jut out into the ocean and clear streams tumble lazily towards the beaches. It’s a coastal paradise where visitors can paddle, hike, swim, snorkel – or simply relax and admire the view.
Highlights of Abel Tasman National Park
A key highlight in the Nelson region, Abel Tasman is a sheltered coastal headland that juts out into Cook Strait. Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery. In the forests, the call of tui and bellbirds fill the air; while on the rocky headlands, fur seals can be seen relaxing in the sun and playing in and around Tonga Island Marine Reserve. In the sheltered bays, shags, gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner. It’s a part of the country that thrives with life; both above and below the water.
Abel Tasman National Park’s compelling mix of coastal forests, low-lying headlands, river plains and all flavours of coastline makes it an awesome destination for both exploring and relaxing. One of the best ways to enjoy the park is on foot – The Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of the country’s nine great walks, winds its way through the park as does a myriad of other walks and trails.
A fascinating history
Maori have occupied the Abel Tasman coast for over 800 years, with archaeological sites in the park unearthing pits, terraces, defensive sites, gardens and stone floors. In the mid 1800’s, a number of hardy European pioneers lived along the coastline, with the main method of transport being the sea. 150 years later, this is still the case – there are few roads in Abel Tasman National Park, and water taxi or kayak are the best ways to hop between beaches.
Explore Abel Tasman National Park with MoaTrek
Included in all Big Moa tours that visit the Nelson region is an unforgettable day to really experience this coastal wonderland. Taking off from scenic Kaiteriteri Beach, enjoy the scenery from a boat cruise as you motor past golden beaches, bush-clad hills, Split Apple Rock and fur seal colony. Hopping off the boat, choose to take an easygoing stroll through native forest to pretty Onetahuti Beach or head up and over the headland to Tonga Quarry before being picked up by the boat. Mixing easygoing adventure both on land and on the water, this is an unforgettable day in Abel Tasman National Park. Inspired? Chat to our friendly team about our small group touring options.