1 current alert for the Abel Tasman Coast Track Read details...

23 April 2015: Mouse plague in Abel Tasman National Park

The Abel Tasman National Park is currently experiencing a mouse plague. This is a result of a Beech Forest "Mast" season when a profusion of seed falls to the ground, resulting in an abundance of rodents. The mice are now turning their attention to readily available food e.g. hikers' food. This phenomenon is also occuring in other South Island beech forests such as in Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes National Parks.

Visitors are advised to keep their food stored in rodent-proof containers and we recommend staying in DOC huts rather than camping.

Please check your packs and gear, especially those kayakers who are likely to go ashore at Adele Island, to make sure you do not inadvertently carry mice to the Island.

Introduction

Golden beaches, crystal clear waters, caves and lush coastal forest, this gentle walk offers multiple scenic treats.

Highlights

  • Stop along the way to swim, kayak or snorkel by the seals and penguins at Tonga Island Marine Reserve, one of DOC's Coastal Gems.

  • Swim at Cleopatras Pool, a natural rock pool with a moss-lined waterslide.

  • Choose from 4 huts and 18 campsites - many right by the beach.

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Video

Track overview

60 km

Walking and tramping

3 - 5 days Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

Walking options

The track can be walked in either direction. It is well marked and signposted, but some sections may be steep, rough or muddy. This guide describes an easy walk for independent, non-guided walkers who choose to walk the whole track from Marahau to Wainui Bay.

Places to stay

DOC provides a range of accommodation along the Abel Tasman Coast Track, including four huts, 18 campsites and the Totaranui Great Walk campsite.

Overnight stays for Coast Track walkers are limited to one night at Totaranui Great Walk campsite and two consecutive nights in all huts and other campsites along the Coast Track.

Marahau to Anchorage

Time: 4 hr
Distance: 12.4 km

French names left by d’Urville and his crew Adele, Simonet and Torrent add character to this part of the journey. At the Marahau information kiosk, a causeway crosses the estuary. On the far side of the estuary the track passes through open country to Tinline Bay.

The track rounds Guilbert Point to Apple Tree Bay then passes through beech forest with large kanuka trees. After Yellow Point it turns inland, winding in and out of several little gullies before emerging in open country overlooking Torrent Bay and the coast and islands to the north.

Descend to Anchorage Bay where there is a hut and campsite. 

Campsites and huts between Marahau and Anchorage

Anchorage to Bark Bay

High tide track
Time:
4 hr
Distance: 11.5 km

Low tide crossing, Torrent Bay estuary
Time:
3 hr
Distance: 8.4 km

 Bridge between Torrent Bay and Bark Bay. Photo: Markus Baumann.
Bridge between Torrent Bay and Bark
Bay

From Anchorage Bay, cross a low ridge to Torrent Bay estuary. The estuary can be crossed within two hours either side of low tide, or an all-tide track leads around it to Torrent Bay. Keep to the public track through the private houses here.

At the northern end of Torrent Bay beach the track climbs steadily and then sidles around two valleys and above a beautiful inlet to Falls River, the biggest in the park, which is crossed by a 47 m suspension bridge. Beyond the river, the track meanders through lush coastal forest before dropping back to the sea. Follow the track to the hut and campsite beside Bark Bay estuary.

Campsites and huts between Anchorage and Bark Bay

Bark Bay to Awaroa

Time: 4 hr 30 min
Distance: 13.5 km

Cross Bark Bay estuary or follow the all-tide track around its edge and climb steeply to a saddle. Here you lose all sense of the sea below as you journey through stands of manuka.

Return to the shore at Tonga Quarry, where blocks of granite remain from an old quarrying operation. Tonga Island sits offshore surrounded by marine reserve. A short distance on is Onetahuti Bay. A bridge and boardwalk (opened November 2013) provides an all tide crossing. The track then climbs over Tonga Saddle and descends to Awaroa Inlet. Follow the shore for 15 minutes to Awaroa Hut and campsite.

Visitors reaching Venture Creek on the Awaroa Estuary from the South may find the beach route round to Awaroa Hut impassable at times when there is a very high tide. If this happens then visitors should wait at Venture Creek until the tide recedes to reveal the beach route.

Campsites and huts between Bark Bay and Awaroa

Awaroa to Totaranui

Time: 2 hr 20 min
Distance: 7.1 km (tidal)

 Awaroa tidal crossing at low tide. Photo: Markus Baumann.
Awaroa tidal crossing at low tide

Awaroa Estuary can only be crossed close to low tide. The estuary should only be crossed within one and a half hours before and two hours after low tide. (Following very heavy rain the estuary may be impassable.) From its northern side the track crosses a low saddle and drops to Waiharakeke Bay, where a timber mill once operated.

The track re-enters the forest then emerges at Goat Bay, from where it climbs steeply to a lookout above Skinner Point before descending to Totaranui. Follow the road through the main camping ground to the camp office, water taxi pickup point and Coast Track walkers campsite.

Campsites and huts between Awaroa and Totaranui

Totaranui to Whariwharangi

Time: 3 hr 15 min
Distance: 9.8 km

The track heads around Totaranui estuary, climbs over a low saddle and winds down through lush forest to Anapai Bay. From here to Mutton Cove, travel alternates between sandy beaches and rocky headlands of regenerating kanuka.

Leave the coast at Mutton Cove and climb to another saddle. From here the track descends to Whariwharangi Bay. The hut - a restored farm homestead - and campsite are just behind the beach. Add 1 hour to go via Separation Point. (See side trips below).

Campsites and huts between Totaranui and Whariwharangi

Whariwharangi to Wainui

Time: 2 hr
Distance: 5.7 km

From Whariwharangi Hut follow a small stream then climb out of the bay to a saddle overlooking Wainui Inlet. The track winds down to the shore around gorse-covered ridges recovering from a 1978 fire, then follows the estuary edge for 500 metres to the carpark. It is possible to cross Wainui Inlet within two hours either side of low tide.

Side trips

Many secluded and sheltered coves and lookout points are accessible from the Coast Track, as well as the following side trips.

Tinline Bay Nature Walk

From the campsite a 20 minute loop track leads up Tinline Creek meandering through lowland coastal forest.

Te Pukatea/Pitt Head

A 20 minute walk crosses a low ridge from Anchorage Hut to crescent-shaped Te Pukatea Bay. From there a 1 hour walk with good views leads to Pitt Head, an old pa site, and back to Anchorage.

Cleopatra's Pool. Photo: Diana Parr.
Cleopatra's Pool

Cleopatras Pool

From Torrent Bay estuary a 20 minute wander leads up a stream bed of large boulders to Cleopatras Pool.

Falls River

A track heads inland from near Torrent Bay Village camp to the Falls River falls. Allow 3 hours return. A shorter option for those with less time is the Cascade Falls on the same track. Allow 1 hour 30 minutes return.

Separation Point

From Mutton Cove a track leads to Separation Point, where fur seals breed. This track branches shortly before the point to rejoin the Coast Track at the saddle above Whariwharangi Bay (1 hour).

Fees and bookings

Fees

Fees are charged per person, per night to stay in huts and campsites on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There are no fees to complete a day walk on the track or for entry into the Abel Tasman National Park.

Pay your fees by booking the huts and/or campsites before you start the track.

Abel Tasman Coast Track fees
  Adults (18+ yrs)Youth/child/infant (0-17 yrs) 
Hut $32 Free (booking required)
Campsite $14 Free (booking required)
Discounts

A 10% discount is available to members, staff and instructors of the following organisations, who also hold a valid 12 month Backcountry Hut Pass: NZ Mountain Safety Council; NZ Federated Mountain Clubs; NZ Deer Stalkers Association; NZ Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR); Scouts New Zealand; GirlGuiding NZ.

Discounts are not available online. To receive the discount we need to sight your membership card and Backcountry Hut Pass, so please visit a DOC visitor centre in person. If you get a discount you won't be charged a booking fee.

Book the Abel Tasman Coast Track online

What to book

Before you start walking the Abel Tasman Coast Track, you need to book: 

  • Huts and/or campsites on the track – the walk takes 3-5 days to complete
  • Transport to/from the start/end of the track or mid-points along the track – the walk is one-way with track ends approx. 80 km apart

How to book 

  1. Decide how much of the track you want to walk and what direction you want to walk in – shuttles service the northern end of the track at Wainui, and water taxis run between Kaiteriteri and Marahau at the southern end of the track to the main beaches of Anchorage, Torrent Bay, Bark Bay Onetahuti, Awaroa and Totaranui.

  2. Decide what huts or campsites you want to stay at. Consider:
  3. Decide the date you want to stay at each hut/campsite. Note there is a maximum number of nights you can stay at each:
    • 1 October - 30 April: maximum 2 nights (except Totaranui campsite which is a maximum of 1 night all year)
    • 1 May - 30 September: maximum 5 nights (except Totaranui campsite which is a maximum of 1 night all year)

  4. Check availability of huts and campsites on the dates you want to stay. If there is no space in one of the huts/campsites you want to stay at, consider:
    • Starting your walk on a different date
    • Re-arranging your walk to use a different combination of huts/campsites

  5. Check the availability of transport services on your desired dates.

  6. Book huts/campsites.

  7. Book transport to/from the start/end of the track with a transport operator. Find transport operators for the Abel Tasman Coast Track

Terms and conditions

Read the Booking Terms and Conditions for general information, age ranges, prices, discounts, penalty rates, and the alterations and cancellations policies. Bookings not meeting the terms and conditions will be treated as invalid and cancelled.

Booking Great Walks on behalf of others

Guided groups

To operate a commercial activity in an area managed by the Department of Conservation, you will need to apply for a concession (an official permit), in addition to any bookings you would need to make. Read more about concessions 

Booking on behalf of others

To make multiple bookings for facilities/services on behalf of customers, you must obtain permission or an agent agreement from the Department of Conservation. To do this, email: bookings@doc.govt.nz  

Getting there

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is accessible by road at four points, each with a carpark:

  • Marahau, the southern gateway, is 67 km from Nelson on sealed road.
  • Wainui is 21 km from Takaka. For the last 2 km, the road is unsealed.
  • Totaranui is 32 km from Takaka. For the last 12 km, the road is unsealed.
  • Awaroa estuary is 31 km from Takaka. The last 12 km of road is rough and unsealed. There are two fords, which flood after heavy rain. From the Awaroa carpark on the northern side of the estuary, it’s 25 minutes of tidal walk to Awaroa hut and campsite, which are on the southern side of the estuary.

Transport options

Abel Tasman Coast Track locality map.
Abel Tasman Coast Track locality map

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is not a circuit track. However, it can be combined with the Abel Tasman Inland Track to form a 5-6 day circuit. By road it takes 2 hours 30 minutes to drive between Totaranui or Wainui and Marahau (approx. 100 km). This road is narrow, winding and unsealed in places. By boat transport it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to travel between Totaranui and Marahau.

The track is well serviced by public transport including buses/coaches and boat transport. Contact transport operators directly for their pick up/drop off locations and timetables.

Find commercial operators that provide services to the Abel Tasman Coast Track

Torrent Bay water taxis and day charter vessels are no longer able to pick up passengers or their gear from Torrent Bay. There is a limited drop off service operating in the morning between 9 am and noon. The nearest pick up points to Torrent Bay are Anchorage (30 minutes - low tide or 1 hour 30min - high tide) and Bark Bay (2 hours). Water taxis can still visit Torrent Bay outside of these hours to service landowners and their guests at Torrent Bay Township.

Vehicle parking: DOC provides a carpark at Marahau,Totaranui, Wainui and Awaroa roadends. Cars are parked at owner's/driver's risk. Secure parking can be arranged at various Marahau businesses.

Bus services operate in summer from Nelson and Motueka to major roadends Marahau and Kaiteriteri and connect with Takaka transport to Totaranui and Wainui. Bookings are recommended. In winter, bus services operate daily to Marahau and Kaiteriteri but not so regularly to Wainui and Totaranui.

Water taxis operate year round from Marahau and Kaiteriteri. The scheduled water taxi pickup locations are: Anchorage, Bark Bay, Onetahuti, Awaroa and Totaranui. Refer to your water taxi provider for their pick up/drop off locations and timetable.

Kayaking

Sea kayaking, Falls River, Abel Tasman National Park. Photo: Diana Parr.
Sea kayaking, Falls River,
Abel Tasman National Park

Kayaking is a popular activity in the Abel Tasman Coast Track area.

For people who haven’t kayaked before, a guided trip is recommended. If you are renting a kayak or going on a guided trip, discuss your kayak trip with your chosen kayak operator before booking huts or campsites.

For independent kayak rentals, a minimum of two people and previous sea-kayaking experience are essential.

For more details and your own safety be sure to contact kayaking operators, or i-SITES.

Kayaking is more weather dependent than walking along the Coast Track, so you are advised to:

  • Book campsites that are within your kayaking ability and plan for the worst weather - head winds and rough seas. Then, if the weather makes kayaking slow you will still get to your campsite. If the weather is fine and there is a tail wind, you can always kayak to your campsite, set up your tent and then go exploring with your kayak without your overnight gear. 
  • Assess your fitness, the wind strength and direction and sea swell before proceeding each day. If the weather is too rough to safely kayak to your intended destination (the campsite you have booked), stop and wait for a few hours or camp in an alternative campsite. It is permissible to camp at a campsite other than the one you have booked for safety reasons. Explain the circumstances when a Ranger inspects your Camp Accommodation Ticket.

Never risk your life by kayaking in dangerous seas!

Kayaking is not recommended north of Onetahuti Bay due to the remote and exposed coastline.

Approximate paddling times for experienced kayakers in calm conditions without stops are:

  • Marahau to Anchorage 3 hr
  • Anchorage to Bark Bay 2 hr 30 min
  • Bark Bay to Onetahuti 1 hr 30 min

Know before you go

Your safety is your responsibility. To have a great time in the outdoors, know before you go the five simple rules of the Outdoor Safety Code to help you stay safe:

  1. Plan your trip
  2. Tell someone
  3. Be aware of the weather
  4. Know your limits
  5. Take sufficient supplies

1. Plan your trip

Be sure to consult a tide timetable when planning your trip as two estuaries on the track are only passable at low tide.

The Nelson/Marlborough track update has the latest information on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It is updated weekly in summer and monthly in winter.

See track updates at the visitor centre notice-boards. Check with visitor centres for the Important Notices to Visitors, which report closures or maintenance on huts, campsites, roads and tracks.

Walking seasons

The Coast Track is open all year. Transport, activity, equipment and accommodation operators are available year round.

All huts and campsites must be booked all year round. See booking information for details.

Chart showing that the number of walkers peaks between December and March.
Chart showing walker numbers peaking between December and March

The chart (at the right) shows the number of walkers on the track between Torrent Bay and Bark Bay. Numbers peak in January with over 250 per day and drop in August to less than 25.

In peak season (October to April), DOC hut wardens and staff are based at the huts and Totaranui Camp Office.

In winter, wardens rotate among the huts.

The advantages of visiting the Abel Tasman Coast in the winter include fewer visitors, calmer water, less water traffic such as water-skiers, and hardly any insects.

The main disadvantages are the shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures.

Track closure

In case of any accident or injury that requires emergency evacuation, contact Police Search and Rescue via Department of Conservation staff or boat transport staff radios.

In the unusual situation of the track being closed (e.g. in case of extreme fire risk), signs will be erected at track entrances and information will be at i-SITES, DOC information centres and on the DOC website. Check the Track Update before you start the track. If the track is closed, a full refund will be given.

2. Tell someone

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

Fill in the visitors book if you are staying in a hut.

3. Be aware of the weather

The climate is mild with sea breezes, summer droughts and some winter frosts. Rainfall averages 1800mm and the sun shines around 2200 hours per year. During late spring and throughout summer the coast is subject to strong westerly winds, while the autumn and winter months are generally calm.  

Weather information at Totaranui
 Max temp ˚CMin temp ˚CRainy days
July 13 4 11
August 13 5 10
September 15 7 12
October 17 8 9
November 19 10 10
December 21 12 10
January 23 12 6
February 22 13 7
March 21 12 9
April 18 10 8
May 16 7 10
June 14 6 10
Winter

The Abel Tasman Coast Track can be walked all year but in winter temperatures are cooler. All huts have heating. Campsites that get good afternoon sun are Anchorage, Bark Bay, Mosquito Bay, Awaroa and Totaranui.

4. Know your limits

Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.

5. Take sufficient supplies

For a full list check 'What to take'

Cookers and lighting
  • Cookers and lighting are not provided in any of the huts.
Wasps
  • If you are allergic to wasp stings, take your medication, such as antihistamines, with you.
Sandflies
  • Sandflies are tiny black insects which cause itchy bites.
  • Bring and use insect repellent.

Low tides for this year

View the Abel Tasman Coast Track low tide timetables for 2015.

Low tide timetables are for your safety

Walkers can cross Awaroa Inlet approximately one and a half hours before and two hours after low tide. However, the actual times for crossing can be affected by natural influences such as tide heights and storm surges. Allow 25 minutes to cross Awaroa Inlet.

All times are corrected for daylight savings beginning on the last Sunday in September and ending on the first Sunday in April. Daylight saving times are subject to change by the Government at very short notice.

Note: A bridge and boardwalk at Onetahuti estuary (opened November 2013) provides an all tide crossing.

View the low tide timetables

Print versions are provided below for low tides up to October 2016.

Tables are provided below for low tides in 2015.

April 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
    1
2:21 am
2:39 pm
2
3:05 am
3:18 pm
3
3:41 am
3:54 pm
4
4:14 am
4:28 pm
5
3:44 am
4:01 pm
6
4:14 am
4:34 pm
7
4:45 am
5:09 pm
8
5:17 am
5:45 pm
9
5:53 am
6:24 pm
10
6:34 am
7:08 pm
11
7:24 am
8:00 pm
12
8:28 am
9:04 pm
13
9:46 am
10:21 pm
14
11:05 am
11:40 pm
15
12:13 pm
16
12:49 am
1:11 pm
17
1:46 am
2:04 pm
18
2:37 am
2:53 pm
19
3:23 am
3:40 pm
20
4:07 am
4:25 pm
21
4:49 am
5:09 pm
22
5:31 am
5:51 pm
23
6:14 am
6:34 pm
24
7:01 am
7:18 pm
25
7:55 am
8:07 pm
26
9:01 am
9:07 pm
27
10:12 am
10:20 pm
28
11:16 am
11:35 pm
29
12:10pm 
30
12:36 am
12:58 pm
     

 

May 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
        1
1:25 am
1:40 pm
2
2:05 am
2:19 pm
3
2:41 am
2:57 pm
4
3:14 am
3:33 pm
5
3:47 am
4:10 pm
6
4:22 am
4:48 pm
7
4:58 am
5:27 pm
8
5:38 am
6:09 pm
9
6:22 am
6:55 pm
10
7:14 am
7:48 pm
11
8:16 am
8:49 pm
12
9:27 am
10:01 pm
13
10:39 am
11:16 pm
14
11:46 am 
15
12:24 am
12:45 pm
16
1:23 am
1:40 pm
17
2:14 am
2:31 pm 
18
3:01 am
3:20 pm
19
3:46 am
4:06 pm
20
4:28 am
4:49 pm 
21
5:10 am
5:30 pm 
22
5:52 am
6:10 pm 
23
6:36 am
6:51 pm 
24
7:24 am
7:35 pm 
25
8:19 am
8:26 pm
26
9:19 am
9:26 pm 
27
10:20 am
10:36 pm
28
11:17 am
11:43 pm
29
12:09 pm 
30
12:39 am
12:57 pm
31 
1:26 am
1:42 pm 

 

June 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1
2:07 am
2:26 pm
2
2:45 am
3:08 pm
3
3:23 am
3:49 pm
4
4:02 am
4:31 pm
5
4:42 am
5:14 pm
6
5:26 am
5:58 pm
7
6:13 am
6:44 pm
8
7:04 am
7:35 pm
9
8:02 am
8:33 pm
10
9:06 am
9:40 pm
11
10:12 am
10:52 pm
12
11:18am
13
12:01 am
12:20 pm
14
1:02 am
1:19 pm
15
1:55 am
2:13 pm 
16
2:43 am
3:03 pm
17
3:27 am
3:49 pm
18
4:09 am
4:30 pm
19
4:49 am
5:09 pm
20
5:28 am
5:46 pm
21
6:09 am
6:23 pm
22
6:51 am
7:01 pm
23
7:36 am
7:44 pm
24
8:26 am
8:34 pm
25
9:20 am
9:34 pm
26
10:17 am
10:44 pm
27
11:15 am
11:50 pm
28
12:12 pm
29
12:47 am
1:06 pm
30
1:35 am
1:57 pm
         

 

July 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
    1
2:19 am
2:45 pm
2
3:02 am
3:31 pm
3
3:45 am
4:15 pm
4
4:28am
4:59 pm
5
5:13 am
5:43 pm
6
6:00 am
6:29 pm
7
6:50 am
7:18 pm
8
7:43 am
8:12 pm
9
8:41 am
9:16 pm
10
9:44 am
10:28 pm
11
10:51 am
11:41 pm
12
11:58 am
13
12:44 am
1:03 pm
14
1:39 am
2:00 pm
15
2:27 am
2:49 pm
16
3:10 am
3:33 pm 
17
3:50 am
4:11 pm
18
4:27 am
4:46 pm
19
5:03 am
5:19 pm
20
5:40 am
5:52 pm
21
6:17 am
6:27 pm
22
6:56 am
7:04 pm
23
7:39 am
7:47 pm
24
8:27 am
8:39 pm
25
9:20 am
9:45 pm
26
10:21 am
11:01 pm
27
11:27 am
28
12:10 am
12:32 pm
29
1:06 am
1:31 pm
30
1:56 am
2:24 pm
31
2:42 am
3:12 am
   

 

August 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
          1
3:27 am
3:57 pm
2
4:12 am
4:42 pm
3
4:57 am
5:25 pm
4
5:43 am
6:10 pm
5
6:30 am
6:57 pm
6
7:20 am
7:49 pm
7
8:14 am
8:51 pm 
8
9:15 am
10:05 pm 
9
10:24 am
11:22 pm
10
11:40 am
11
12:29 am
12:49 pm
12
1:24 am
1:48 pm
13
2:10 am
2:35 pm
14
2:51 am
3:15 pm
15
3:29 am
3:49 pm
16
4:04 am
4:21 pm
17
4:37 am
4:51 pm
18
5:10 am
5:22 pm
19
5:44 am
5:53 pm
20
6:20 am
6:28 pm
21
6:59 am
7:07 am
22
7:42 am
7:54 pm 
23
8:32 am
8:56 pm
24
9:34 am
10:16 pm
25
10:47 am
11:36 pm
26
12:02 pm
27
12:40 am
1:08 pm
28
1:33 am
2:03 pm
29
2:21 am
2:52 pm
30
3:07 am
3:38 pm
31
3:53 am
4:21 pm
           

 

September 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
  1
4:38 am
5:05 pm
2
5:23 am
5:48 pm
3
6:09 am
6:34 pm
4
6:56 am
7:24 pm
5
7:47 am
8:25 pm
6
8:46 am
9:41 pm
7
9:57 am
11.02 pm
8
11:19 am 
9
12:10 am
12:32 pm
10
1:05 am
1:30 pm 
11
1:50 am
2:15 pm
12
2:29 am
2:52 pm
13
3:05 am
3:25 pm
14
3:38 am
3:55 pm 
15
4:10 am
4:24 pm
16
4:42 am
4:53 pm
17
5:15 am
5:24 pm
18
5:50 am
5:57 pm 
19
6:27 am
6:35 pm
20
7:08 am
7:20 pm
21
7:57 am
8:20 pm
22
8:57 am
9:39 pm 
23
10:13 am
11:04 pm
24
11:34 am
25
12:12 am
12:43 am
26
1:09 am
1:41 pm
27
1:59 am
3:31 pm 
28
3:46 am
4:16 pm
29
4:32 am
5:00 pm
30
5:18 am
5:44 pm
       

 

October 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
      1
6:02 am
6:27 pm
2
6:47 am
7:12 pm
3
7:33 am
8:00 pm
4
8:21 am
8:59 pm
5
9:16 am
10:13 pm
6
10:25 am
11:33 pm
7
11:47 am
8
12:42 am
1:03 pm
9
1:36 am
2:02 pm
10
2:22 am
2:47 pm
11
3:01 am
3:25 pm
12
3:38 am
3:57 pm
13
4:12 am
4:28 pm
14
4:44 am
4:58 pm
15
5:17 am
5:28 pm
16
5:51 am
6:00 pm 
17
6:26 am
6:34 pm
18
7:03 am
7:12 pm
19
7:45 am
7:58 pm
20
8:33 am
8:56 pm
21
9:32 am
10:11 pm
22
10:45 am
11:32 pm
23
12:06 pm
24
12:43 am
1:18 pm
25
1:43 am
2:17 pm
26
2:36 am
3:09 pm
27
3:25 am
3:56 pm
28
4:13 am
4:41 pm
29
4:59 am
5:24 pm
30
5:44 am
6:07 pm
31
6:28 am
6:51 pm 
 

 

November 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
         

 

1
7:12 am
7:39 pm
2
7:58 am
8:32 pm
3
8:47 am
9:37 pm
4
9:46 am
10:50 pm
5
10:59 am
11:58 pm
6
12:17 pm
7
12:56 am
1:22 pm
8
1.45 am
2:12 pm
9
2:28 am
2:53 pm
10
3:08 am
3:29 pm
11
3:45 am
4:02 pm
12
4:21 am
4:34 pm
13
4:56 am
5:07 pm
14
5:32 am
5:41 pm
15
6:09 am
6:18 pm 
16
6:47 am
6:58 pm
17
7:30 am
7:45 pm 
18
8:17 am
8:41 pm 
19
9:13 am
9:47 pm 
20
10:20 am
11:00 am
21
11:37 am 
22
12:11 am
12:51 pm 
23
1:15 am
1:54 pm
24
2:13 am
2:49 pm
25
3:07 am
3:38 pm
26
3:57 am
4:24 pm 
27
4:45 am
5:08 pm
28
5:30 am
5:51 pm
29
6:12 am
6:34 pm
30
6:54 am
7:17 pm
           

 

December 2015 low tides
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
  1
7:35 am
8:05 pm
2
8:17 am
8:57 pm
3
9:05 am
9:56 pm
4
10:02 am
10:59 pm
5
11:13 am
6
12:01 am
12:27 pm
7
12:57 am
1:28 pm
8
1:48 am
2:18 pm
9
2:35 am
2:59 pm
10
3:18 am
3:37 pm
11
3:59 am
4:13 pm
12
4:38 am
4:49 pm 
13
5:17 am
5:26 pm
14
5:56 am
6:06 pm
15
6:36 am
6:48 pm
16
7:18 am
7:34 pm 
17
8:03 am
8:26 pm
18
8:55 am
9:24 pm
19
9:56 am
10:29 pm
20
11:08 am
11:38 pm
21
12:25 pm
22
12:47 am
1:33 pm
23
1:52 am
2:32 pm
24
2:52 am
3:23 pm
25
3:45 am
4:10 pm
26
4:34 am
4:54 pm 
27
5:17 am
5:35 pm
28
5:57 am
6:16 pm
29
6:34 am
6:55 pm
30
7:10 am
7:35 pm
31
7:46 am
8:18 pm
     

Tide table data supplied by Ocean Fun Publishing.

Abel Tasman visitor app

Rock WrenAccess all the information you need while walking or kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park. Just download the Abel Tasman Virtual Visitor Centre app onto your smartphone.

The app has up-to-date information on weather, tides, maps, points of interest, history, plants, wildlife and walking times in the Abel Tasman National Park.

It also gives you insight into the 30-year ecological restoration of the Park being undertaken by Project Janszoon and the Department of Conservation.

Download the free app 

The app can be downloaded wherever the phone has coverage, including the hotspots.

It will work offline in the park and will update itself when in coverage or within range of a hotspot.

Apple app store icon. Click to download app for iPhone.

Google play icon. Click to download app for android.

Hotspots

Wi-fi hotspots to download the app are at:

  • Marahau beachfront, park entrance and campground area
  • Anchorage campground and hut
  • Torrent Bay village
  • Bark Bay hut and campground
  • Awaroa village, DOC hut, and car park
  • Totaranui campground

The app and private wi-fi network are provided by Project Janszoon, a private trust working in partnership with the Department of Conservation to restore the ecology of the park.

Find out more about Project Janszoon.

Nature and conservation

Vegetation

The park’s bedrock is made up of Separation Point Granite. Its physical and chemical qualities determine the nature of the forest cover and details, such as the colour of beaches and stream beds.

Soils developed from granite bedrock are relatively infertile, yet damp gullies just above sea level support rich forest. Although many trees were removed during the milling era, a lush understorey of trees and shrubs, tree ferns, kiekie and supplejack remains and the gullies lead the regeneration process.

Black beech is the natural cover of the dry ridges and headlands close to the sea, with hard beech further inland where more moisture is available. Kanuka occurs where there have been windfalls or a history of fires. Manuka occurs where repeated burning has degraded the soil.

Birdlife

D’Urville found South Island kokako in the forests around Torrent Bay; these and several other native bird species have since disappeared and bellbird, fantail, pigeon and tui are now the main forest birds. Around the beaches, estuaries and wetlands, pukeko are common.

A range of wading birds stalk the estuaries for fish and shellfish, while offshore, gannets, shags and terns can be seen diving for food. Little penguins feed at sea during the day and return to burrows on the park’s islands at night.

In 2007 Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust was formed whose vision is to have the forests and beaches of Abel Tasman once again filled with birdsong. You may see the trusts stoat and possum traps on or near the track in Torrent Bay. The traps are regularly checked by volunteers so don't touch the traps and if you see a dead animal tell the next DOC ranger you see.

Rivers and estuaries

Giant kokopu freshwater fish. Photo: Stephen Moore.
Giant kokopu freshwater fish

The native fish communities within Abel Tasman waterways are almost pristine, due to the relatively intact nature of the parks catchments. Close proximity to the sea, also means they are within easy reach of whitebait and other migratory native fish larvae.

Fourteen native fish species have been recorded, including threatened migratory galaxiid species, such as short-jaw, and giant kōkopu, kōaro and inanga. Banded kōkopu (not threatened) are often seen in small pools, if you are quiet.

Unmodified estuaries are an integral feature of the Abel Tasman Coast, always changing as the tides come and go twice a day. The regular influx of nutrients from the sea supports many fish, snails, worms, and crabs, which are food for coastal birds. Being sandy (rather than muddy) the park’s estuaries are easily explored around low tide.

Areas inundated by only the highest tides carry salt marsh vegetation: rushes, glasswort and sea primrose. These plants trap moving sand, often beginning a long process which can result in replacement of the estuarine community with a terrestrial one.

Beyond the shoreline

The park’s rocky coastline is a fascinating place to explore, particularly with snorkel and goggles. Between the tides, plants and animals occupy distinct bands like the forest zones between sea level and the bushline. Periwinkles, tubeworms, neptunes necklace and pink algae are all adapted to a particular level of exposure to sun and wind.

Underwater, seaweeds are grazed by sea urchins and Cook’s turban shells. Further out are granite reefs, while at Separation Point live bryozoans, tiny animals that build extensive colonies of coral-like structures.

Fur seals are found along the coast of the park, particularly on the more remote granite headlands of Separation Point, Tonga Island and Pinnacle Island.

Tonga Island Marine Reserve runs one nautical mile out from the coast between Awaroa Head and the headland separating Bark Bay and Mosquito Bay. All marine life within its boundaries is protected and fishing is not allowed. A separate publication on the reserve is available.

History and culture

For at least 500 years, Māori lived along the Abel Tasman coast, gathering food from the sea, estuaries and forests, and growing kumera on suitable sites. Most occupation was seasonal but some sites in Awaroa estuary were permanent.

Abel Tasman memorial. Photo: Les Molloy.
Abel Tasman memorial

On 18 December 1642, Abel Tasman anchored his two ships near Wainui in Mohua (Golden Bay), the first European to visit Aotearoa New Zealand. He lost four crew in a skirmish with the Māori there, Ngati Tumatakokiri.

The Tumatakokiri were conquered around 1800 and the conquerors in turn were invaded in the 1820s. Te Ati Awa, Ngati Rarua and Ngati Tama all trace their ancestry to this latter invasion.

Frenchman Dumont d’Urville followed in January 1827, exploring the area between Marahau and Torrent Bay. Permanent European settlement began around 1855. The settlers logged forests, built ships, quarried granite and fired the hillsides to create pasture.

For a time there was prosperity but soon the easy timber was gone and the hills were invaded by gorse and bracken. Little now remains of their enterprise and the ravaged landscape is slowly healing.

Abel Tasman National Park was formed after Nelson conservationist Perrine Moncrieff became concerned at the prospect of logging along the beautiful coast. She campaigned to have 15,000 hectares of crown land made into a national park. A petition presented to the Government suggested Abel Tasman’s name for the park, which was opened in 1942 on the 300th anniversary of his visit.

Contact details

For more information about the Abel Tasman Coast Track:

Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 3 546 9612
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   PO Box 375
Nelson 7040

For huts and campsites bookings help contact:

Nelson Marlborough Bookings Helpdesk
Phone:   +64 3 546 8210
Fax:   +64 3 546 9612
Email:   nmbookings@doc.govt.nz
Address:  
Postal Address:   PO Box 375
Nelson 7040

i-SITES

Nelson i-SITE Visitor Centre,
Ph +64 3 548 2304

Motueka i-SITE Visitor Centre,
Ph +64 3 528 6543

Golden Bay i-SITE Visitor Centre,
Ph +64 3 525 9136

Hunting permits

For hunting permits for northern Abel Tasman National Park you can apply online or contact:

Takaka Office
Phone:      +64 3 525 8026
Email:   takaka@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

For hunting permits for southern Abel Tasman National Park you can apply online or contact:

Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 546 9339
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

or

Motueka Office
Phone:      +64 3 528 1810
Email:   motueka@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

Dog permits

For dog permits contact:

Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 546 9339
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Motueka Office
Phone:      +64 3 528 1810
Email:   motueka@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

or

Takaka Office
Phone:      +64 3 525 8026
Email:   takaka@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

Contacts

Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 546 9339
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
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