Kayaking is the Best way to Travel the Abel Tasman National Park

The Abel Tasman National Park is a wonderful place filled with incredible views, immaculate fauna, florna and clear ocean as far as the eye can see. If you are heading to New Zealand then this should definitely be on your bucket list! Located only 1 hour from Nelson it is easily accessible by car or bus and is a place you can happily spend a few days in. There are many ways to view the park such as water taxi, hiking, canyoning, boating, flying or the most unique, kayaking.


Kayaking is the best way to travel in the Abel Tasman National Park and here’s why:

Abel Tasman Kayaking

Kayaking is a pretty unique way to experience the National Park as you get to view the multiple gorgeous and golden beaches from a different perspective than you do whilst hiking. You can stop at Islands that boats and hikers are unable to get to, including Adele Island (where there is an active seal colony) and Fishermans Island. It’s a fun way to hang out with a friend or partner in a double kayak, which can test your team skills and patience! The Abel Tasman National Park is 50 plus km’s long so I would recommend incorporating hiking, boating and kayaking to get the best possible and unique experience you can. See below my trip details and head over to www.msk.co.nz to book yours now!


Trip details: Freedom Anchorage

(This is an unguided kayaking trip where my partner and I ventured off in a double kayak and explored the waters by ourselves. There is an option to go with a guide if you are not that comfortable kayaking).

The trip starts off with a briefing over at the kayaking base with some funny and interesting guides. They go through all the details you need to be safe on the water including how to get in and out of your kayak, what to do if you tip over, keeping your clothes and items dry, paddling techniques, how to put your spray skirt on and off, map directions and they even kit you out with a wet suit, booties and jacket if needed.

The briefing takes around 1 hour and is definitely worth it! Once you have done all the theory side of things they take you out onto the water where you launch your kayak and they observe your technique. If they think you are competent enough you’re good to go off and explore!

What we did:

Our trip involved kayaking as far north as Anchorage if we wanted to, leaving our kayaks and walking back. We didn’t fancy too much of a hike that day so we only went as far north as Te Pukatea Bay (One of the most gorgeous bays in the park) and returned to Observation Beach to begin our hike back to Marahau (only 2.5 hours).

Te- Pukatea Bay

We managed to get super drenched when we took off from the beach and our kayak was pretty low the rest of the way so I can highly recommend using the pump provided if you get a little water in the kayak! Also, if you’re anything like me and get a little motion sickness I would suggest only staying in the Astrolabe and not venturing out into the mad mile as it is a little rough and hard going.


$95 per person. The cost is a little higher than if you stayed in the kayak all day just to cover the cost of the water taxi picking up your kayak and returning it back to Marahau.

I can highly recommend this kayaking trip to anyone wanting to get a full on day trip in the National Park without hiking the whole time! The views you see kayaking are seriously one of a kind.

I am more than grateful to be working at the Beach Camp in Marahau over the summer and having easy access to this beautiful park, so be sure to expect more posts about the area!

Have you been to the Abel Tasman? What was your favourite beach? (I wrote a post about my 3 favourite, check it out by clicking here). Be sure to let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you 🙂


Lee X

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