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5 Must-Dos in the Abel Tasman National Park

Graeme Churchard on Flickr

Things you can’t miss in the Abel Tasman National Park!

The Abel Tasman National Park might be the smallest New Zealand national park but it’s certainly one of the most popular with landscapes of sweeping golden sand beaches backed by lush native forest. While there are lots of ways to experience Abel Tasman, we’re going to give you the highlights with these must-dos in the Abel Tasman National Park!

Hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, boating, mountain biking… There’s so much to enjoy in Abel Tasman, which we list in our 10 Amazing Things to Do in the Abel Tasman National Park. However, because most of us have limited time, budget (and suffer from decision fatigue), we’ve put together a more concise list of the must-dos in Abel Tasman. Nevertheless, we definitely recommend sticking around the area if you can, so check out these cheap accommodations options in Abel Tasman so you can stick to your budget.

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1. Do the Abel Tasman Coast Track

Hike from golden sand beach to golden sand beach and all the native forest in between on the 60km Abel Tasman Coast Track. The 3-5 days adventure is one of the New Zealand Great Walks meaning that the hut facilities and the track itself are very well maintained. It’s also considered one of the easier Great Walks with only a few hill-climbs along the way. Be aware that there are a couple of major tidal crossings so take this into account when preparing your hike. There are also options for day hikes along the coastal track.

Location: Between Marahau and Totoranui. Water taxi services are available from Kaiteriteri and Marahau.
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2. Take a boat trip

The waters of the Abel Tasman National Park are so inviting! Accept the invitation and get out on the water with one of the many boat trips going into the Abel Tasman National Park. Try a sailing trip for something quiet and relaxing or an eco-boat tour to learn about the fascinating flora and fauna of the national park along the way.

Location: Boat trips depart from Kaiteriteri and Marahau with Wilsons or Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles.

3. Explore by Kayak

Get up-close and intimate with the coast of the Abel Tasman National Park with a kayak tour or self-guided kayak hire. Kayaking is one of the most popular activities in the Abel Tasman National Park with lots of fun rugged coastline to explore, off-shore islands and even close encounters with marine life.

Location: Kayaking trips and hire operators can be found in Marahau, Kaiteriteri and Tata Beach in Golden Bay. Check out these trips with The Sea Kayaking Company and Wilsons.
 Graeme Churchard on Flickr

4. Check out Wainui Falls

A fantastic short walk and natural feature is Wainui Falls on the Golden Bay side of the Abel Tasman National Park. Cross farmland for a short distance until you reach lush native forest with scattered granite boulders and a swing bridge leading to the cascading Wainui Falls. Return the same way on this 1h20min return track. For more things to do in Golden Bay, check out 19 Epic Natural Attractions in Golden Bay.

Location: 20km from Takaka. The track starts in Wainui Bay, signposted about 300m after crossing the Wainui Bridge.
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5. Get adventurous with canyoning

Canyoning is a way to make nature your playground. Jump from waterfalls, abseil from cliffs, scramble through the river, climb over boulders and more in this adventurous activity. It’s an adrenaline-pumping way to explore the Abel Tasman National Park! For more epic canyoning locations, check out 7 Impressive Canyoning Locations in New Zealand.

Location: Trips depart from Motueka. Pickups available from Motueka, Riwaka, Takaka and Pohara.

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