The Abel Tasman National Park is a pristine place on earth. Golden beaches, clear waters, gorgeous wildlife and incredible activities. It truly is a paradise.
I have been here way too many times to count and every time is like the first. There is just so much to see. Since I love this place so much it made sense to compile a list of my favourite 3 beaches in the National Park. Maybe one of them is your favourite too?
Number 1: Bark Bay
This beach is a dream located just 2.5 hours walk from one of the most popular beaches in the park, Anchorage Bay or 6 hours hike from Marahau. Bark Bay is a great place to spend the day. You can catch a water taxi in and out to enjoy the day with minimum exercise or, a popular choice is a one way water taxi (for $42 per person) and hike the 6 hours back to Marahau (book a water taxi through Marahau Water Taxis now by clicking here). I 100% recommend staying the night to get the full on outdoor experience in this gorgeous and peaceful beach and continuing your journey up the park. Camping here is great, you can literally pitch your tent within 3 steps to the golden beach.
Bark Bay is a rather unique beach in the park as it has this gorgeous spit and nifty tidal area that can be walked through 2 hours before or 2 hours after low tide. Yachts and boats can anchor in the little estuary. The hut is located just behind the tidal estuary and the camp is just before it. The camp has the essential facilities you need. 1) A bunch of toilets 2) a cute wee kitchenette and 3) fresh drinking water. Head over to the Department of Conservation website to book your hut or camping pass now!
Number 2: Mutton Cove
This is by far the most peaceful beach I have experienced in the park. It is situated at the Northern end about 2 hours walk from Totaranui. (We caught a water taxi to Totaranui and walked north). Access to this bay is limited to foot meaning you don’t have the hustle and bustle of the water taxi’s. I didn’t hear one boat while I was there so I could really immerse myself in the beautiful golden surroundings and be completely still and relaxed. The sand up here is a different kind of gold and very soft and fine. One thing I surprisingly really liked about this beach was the fact there was only 1 toilet and no kitchenette, so I really felt off the grid.
While you are here I definitely recommend popping over to Separation Point which is only 20 minutes stroll away. This is probably one of my favourite places on the planet. If you’re game you can dive off the rocks into the dreamy blue water and take a nosey at the baby seals diving in the rock pools. A truly remarkable experience.
Number 3: Onetahuti
This is another busy northern beach in the park and not quite as popular as some of the southern, more accessible beaches. You can access this gorgeous long beach via water taxi, kayak or foot. It is about 4 hours walk from Anchorage Bay and 8 hours from Marahau. (Not many people walk here in one day). In the summer Onetahuti is the starting point for one of the popular kayaking trips, Magical Marine Reserve, which passes by Tonga Island where there is an active seal colony. (If you’re interested in kayaking I definitely recommend heading over to Marahau Sea Kayaks website by clicking here).
The campground here is similar to Bark Bay, just a couple of steps to the beach. What I loved most about this place was the cute little glow-worm cave at the end of the beach. There were also neat little rock pools with giant roaming crabs that I thought were pretty cool. When the tide is low there is definitely more opportunity to explore! Another cool thing I came across at this bay was a sting ray. He was just gliding down the beach in the shallow water! Safe to say I was a tad scared to jump in.
Truly, all the beaches in the park are great and I would recommend them all. Now that I am working at the Abel Tasman Centre I have a bit more knowledge of the park and can recommend some wonderful over night and day trips! Let me know in the comments your favourite beach in the park, or flick me a message if you have never been and would like some help planning!
P.s if you want to see more of my trips through the Abel Tasman National park, check my snaps out here!